Testbiotech has started legal proceedings in two cases against patents. The cases were initiated to clarify fundamental ethical questions in patent law, especially in regard to the protection of human dignity. A case was filed at the German Federal patent court (Bundespatentgericht) in a bid to nullify the German patent (DE102004062184), which claims uses of human embryos to obtain stem cells.
The results of an international research project will be presented today in Berlin. The RAGES project (Risk Assessment of genetically engineered organisms in the EU and Switzerland) started in 2016; it investigated in detail the approval processes for genetically engineered plants. The project is completely independent of the interests of the biotechnology industry. Results from the RAGES project show that risk assessors in the EU and Switzerland have failed, and are still failing, to deal with the risks to public health and the environment.
Already 65 types (‘events’) of genetically engineered plants are currently allowed for import and usage in food and feed in the EU that are resistant to herbicides, especially glyphosate. In recent years, the EU Parliament has repeatedly voted for higher standards of risk assessment. Similar demands were made by experts from several EU member states and Testbiotech. Nevertheless, the EU Commission approved nearly all the applications for import.
Testbiotech has filed a new legal challenge against EU approval for the import of genetically engineered maize. The General Court of the European Union confirmed the start of the proceedings (T-534/19) and asked the EU Commission for a response. The new legal challenge is levelled at the import approval for genetically engineered maize produced by Bayer (Monsanto). The maize has more than one genetically engineered trait. As a result, it is doubly resistant to the herbicides glyphosate and glufosinate. In addition, the plants themselves produce six insecticidal toxins.