Four NGOs, Testbiotech, Corporate Europe Observatory (CEO Brussels), Friends of the Earth Europe (FOE), and Lobbycontrol are now jointly addressing the EU Commission about a scandal involving a leading member of the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) who moved directly into the agribusiness company Syngenta. They are calling for a thorough investigation of the circumstances and urging the commission to take immediate action.
The former head of the GMO-panel at the European Food Safety Authority EFSA, Suzy Renckens, has moved directly into the genetic engineering industry without any objections or restrictions being imposed by the authority. This was revealed in documents sent by the EFSA upon request to the group of experts at Testbiotech, Germany.
The company of Renessen (a Monsanto and Cargill international joint venture) withdrew its application for market authorisation of the genetically engineered maize LY038. The decision was taken in April 2009, but was made public just recently by several stakeholders. According to documents received by Testbiotech e. V., the European Food Safety Authority, EFSA, raised safety concerns related to the maize. Prior to the withdrawal the EFSA wrote several letters to Renessen asking for more information on the risk assessment of this product.
In July 2009 the European Patent Office granted the Swiss company Merck Serono a patent on the ripening process of human egg cells including their use in in vitro fertilisation treatment. Once the patent was granted Merck Serono not only had a monopoly on the egg ripening process but also exclusive rights on the usage of the human eggs cells.
Testbiotech believes that this new patent raises questions on the ethical boundaries of patent law.