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Direct move from biotech industry to the EU Commission

Former EuropaBio Communications manager now works as Media and Communications adviser for DG Environment

16 February 2023 / A communications officer previously employed by EuropaBio now acts as Media and Communications Adviser in the Cabinet of Virginijus Sinkevičius, the EU Commissioner for Environment. Therefore, Corporate Europe Observatory (CEO) and Testbiotech, in a joint letter to the Commission, raise concerns about this new case of ‘revolving doors’ between biotech industry and EU institutions.

No patent on ‘Alzheimer Apes’

Partial success for Testbiotech

2 February 2023 / A patent covering genetically engineered ‘Alzheimer apes’ has been significantly restricted after Testbiotech filed an opposition. The ‘Alzheimer’ animals were meant for use in pharmaceutical research. Originally, the patent (EP3066203) granted by the European Patent Office (EPO) in 2020, covered all rodents and non-human primates up to and including great apes, in which genetic engineering is used to induce certain symptoms of Alzheimer's disease. The opposition division at the EPO has now restricted the patent to use on rats and mice.

EU approvals: new evidence showing Bt toxins cause side effects

EU Commission calls on EFSA to re-evaluate several genetically engineered crops

22 December 2022 / New publications indicate that so-called Bt toxins have previously unknown side effects. Bt toxins are produced as insecticides by many currently cultivated transgenic plants. More than 50 of these plants may also be imported into the EU and processed into food and feed. The toxins are supposed to be harmful only to certain pests and cause no side effects. However, current findings have cast considerable doubt on these assumptions. Testbiotech has already drawn the EU Commission’s attention to this in recent statements on EU approvals.

New Genomic Techniques and unintended genetic changes: EFSA ‘overlooked’ most of the scientific findings

The Food Authority did not have a mandate to systematically search and analyse the relevant scientific publications

12 December 2022 / Testbiotech will today be participating in a panel discussion organised by the European Food Safety Authoriy (EFSA) about new criteria for risk assessment of plants derived from new genomic techniques (NGTs or also New GE). In a document, recently published, EFSA has created the impression that there is, in most cases, no need to take the unintended genetic changes caused by NGT processes into account. EFSA appears to assume that the unintended genetic changes and the associated risks could not be distinguished from those resulting from conventional breeding.

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