EU Commission: Eggs from CRISPR/Cas hens will not be risk assessed or labelled
4 March 2022 / Eggs and laying hens originating from transgenic hens could be marketed in the EU without these having to undergo an approval process, and without being labelled. This is the conclusion that can be drawn from a letter sent by the EU Commission to the German Federal Office of Consumer Protection and Food Safety (BVL) in July 2021. The letter now was made public after a request from the German Union of Peasant Farmers (AbL).
Controversial claims amended or deleted
22 February 2022 / Following an opposition filed by Testbiotech, the European Patent Office (EPO) has amended a patent on CRISPR/Cas (EP 3401400) gene scissors. The Nobel Prize laureates, Jennifer Doudna and Emmanuelle Charpentier, are named among the inventors in the patent. The claims covering human, animal and plant cells were deleted, and intervention in the human germline explicitly excluded.
Soybeans and cotton from BASF not welcome
16 February 2022 / The EU parliament has voted against two resolutions for import approval of transgenic soybean (GMB151) and cotton (GHB614) produced by BASF. The plants are resistant to herbicides, such as glyphosate and isoxaflutole, soybean GMB151 also produces an insecticidal toxin. Reasons for rejection are, for example, the damage that cultivation of the plants can cause in countries like Brazil. The Parliament also criticises the insufficient risk assessment conducted by European Food Safety Authority (EFSA).
Scientists worry about ecological balance
15 February 2022 / A recent study from Brazil shows that genetically engineered fluorescent ornamental fish (zebrafish, Dania rerio) have escaped from breeding facilities in large numbers and spread into regional river systems. The transgenic fish are sold in various countries as ornamental fish for aquariums under the trade name GloFish. The paper was published in the Studies on Neotropical Fauna and Environment journal, and was picked up in the current issue of Science, among others.