Is genetically engineered maize healthier than conventionally bred maize?
21 March 2018 / Many experts claim there is “consensus” that genetically engineered plants are safe. At the same time, most of the publications on the risks of genetically engineered organisms are prepared for the biotech industry, or authored by experts who lack a certain critical distance to these companies. This is a major problem since any influence of companies with vested interests in the marketing of genetically engineered plants should be avoided when it comes to risk research of the relevant products.
The General Court of the European Union today confirmed the right of civil society organisations to submit legal cases concerning the health risks of genetically engineered plants. The case was prompted by market authorisation being issued for the import of genetically engineered soybeans produced by US companies Monsanto and DuPont/ Pioneer which, according to analysis undertaken by Testbiotech and other experts, have not been adequately investigated for health risks.
On 18 January, the Attorney General of the EU Court of Justice (EuCJ) published his position on whether or not so-called genome editing must be regulated under current EU GMO legislation. On behalf of Testbiotech, the well-known EU legal expert Professor Ludwig Kraemer has now analysed the position of the Attorney General (C-528/16). Professor Kraemer worked as an official for the EU Commission (DG Environment) until 2004 and was involved in drawing up the current EU GMO regulations.
Genetically engineered pigs could be marketed in the EU without risk assessment or labelling
19 February 2018 / New methods of genetic engineering, such as the gene scissors CRISPR/Cas, are being used to produce animals with enhanced muscle growth. These are so-called “super-muscly pigs”. Various experiments have been carried out with pigs, cattle, sheep and goats to “knock-out” the myostatin (MSTN) gene which controls muscle growth. If MSTN is disrupted, there is an abnormal proliferation of muscle cells. These experiments have been successful in some animals; and in some cases patents have been filed on the resulting pigs and cattle.