In response to a letter from Testbiotech, the Executive Director of the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), Bernhard Url, announced to “ensure that in the future EFSA staff members will no longer co-author scientific publications with industry affiliated scientists”. Testbiotech recently complained about a publication on the risks of cultivating genetically engineered maize in Spain. The main author, Yann Devos works for EFSA; one of the co-authors, Alan Raybould, works for Syngenta, a company that wants to sell its genetically engineered maize seeds.
Joint publication of experts from German regulatory authority and biotech industry
2 July 2018 / In a recent publication jointly prepared by experts from the German regulatory authority (BVL) and US corporation DowDuPont, the experts have explicitly confirmed significant differences between new methods of genetic engineering and conventional plant breeding. According to the publication, plants manipulated with methods known as genome editing can be identified and traced in most cases. This position is in contradiction to previous BVL statements denying such differences.
DowDuPont is ahead having filed around 50 international patent applications (at the WIPO in Geneva) for genome editing and plants, followed by 'Baysanto' with around 30 applications. The US company Cellectis (and its subsidiary Calyxt), in cooperation with Bayer, is registered as having filed more than 20 applications. Further applicants are Syngenta and BASF. So far, very few patents have been filed by traditional breeding companies. These are results of recent patent research evaluated by Testbiotech.
Health risks from Monsanto's “Intacta” should be assessed in more detail
26 June 2018 / Tomorrow there will be a hearing at the European Court of Justice (ECJ) on a legal case filed by Testbiotech together with the European Network of Scientists for Social and Environmental Responsibility (ENSSER) and the environmental organisation Sambucus (C-82/17 P). The organisations are concerned about the risks connected with genetically engineered soybeans produced by Monsanto and sold under the brand name “Intacta”.