26 March 2013 Today the European Food Safety Agency (EFSA) published a positive opinion regarding the cultivation of genetically engineered maize 59122. Jointly marketed by the US seed and agrochemical companies, Pioneer and Dow AgroSciences, it produces two Bt toxins (Cry34Ab1 and Cry35Ab1) and is tolerant to pesticides containing glufosinate as the active ingredient. EFSA´s opinion doesn't include the use of glufosinate as maize 59122 will not be commercialised as a herbicide tolerant plant.
The European Network of Scientists for Social and Environmental Responsibility (ENSSER), the Society for Ecological Research, the foundation Manfred-Hermsen-Stiftung for Nature Conservation and Environmental Protection, the Foundation on Future Farming, the non-profit organisation Sambucus and Testbiotech are challenging a decision made by the EU Commission to authorise a new genetically engineered Monsanto soybean at the European Court of Justice.
Thirteen organisations from Germany, Switzerland and Great Britain are about to file a joint opposition against a patent on genetically engineered chimpanzees granted to the US company, Altor. Patent EP1409646 was granted by the European Patent Office (EPO) in June 2012. It allows chimpanzees to be manipulated to make their DNA similar to that of humans, and then used in pharmaceutical research. The joint opposition argues that this patent violates ethical provisions in patent law.
Munich/ Berlin 01.02.2013
Today in Berlin a new report was published presenting a critical assessment of the consequences of the commercial cultivation of genetically engineered plants in the US. The first genetically engineered plants were created 30 years ago in Europe and the US. Commercial growing in the USA began almost 20 years ago, but in the EU, acceptance of these crops is much lower. Nevertheless, companies are asking for further authorisations for cultivation, including in the EU. In the light of this development, past experience in the USA was assessed and recommendations made for the future handling of this technology in the EU. Some of the principal findings are: