Deficiencies in the risk assessment of Bt cowpea cultivated in Nigeria
1 February 2022 / A new scientific publication reports substantial deficiencies in the risk assessment of genetically engineered Bt cowpea approved for cultivation in Nigeria. The transgenic plants produce an insecticidal Bt toxin meant to protect the plants from the larvae of Maruca vitrata, which feed on the plants and are also known as pod borer. Testbiotech recommends discontinuing the marketing of the plants as well as additional in-depth investigations before planning any releases.
Research outcomes also concern the differences between New GE and conventional breeding
14 January 2022 / A new scientific publication in Nature shows that the occurrence of mutations in plant genomes is not purely random, and their frequencies in populations do not only depend on the mechanisms of selection. However, it is now becoming evident that there are natural mechanisms in the genome which prevent specific genomic regions from frequent mutations. The published research sheds new light on evolutionary biology and, at the same time, raises questions in regard to the consequences of genetic engineering in plants.
CRISPR/Cas techniques create new hazards
21 December 2021 / Testbiotech has received a letter from the EU Commission setting out its views in relation to new publications on the risks associated with CRISPR/Cas genetic scissors. In their opinion, any hazard potential arising from unintended genetic changes caused by the processes of New GE, is no different to that of conventional breeding. Existing scientific evidence, however, contradicts this view.
Concern in EU Member states
17 December 2021 / A recent Korean publication shows that the uncontrolled spread of genetically engineered (GE) oilseed rape is already happening in 14 countries on five continents. These are countries which either allow the cultivation of GE oilseed rape (such as the USA and Canada), or have tested it in experimental releases (such as Germany), or allow the import of kernels (such as Japan). Moreover, it has to be assumed that there is a high number of undetected cases, as many regions do not have systematic monitoring.