Court case to establish precedent on genetically engineered soybean Intacta goes a step further

Complaint against the authorisation of SmartStax fails for formal reasons

Munich / Luxembourg 14.2. 2014. In the case brought before the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) against the decision to authorise the genetically engineered soybean Intacta, Monsanto, the UK government and the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) have now filed their observations. Together with two other organisations, Testbiotech started legal proceedings in 2013 to oppose an EU Commission decision to authorise the soybean for import and usage in food & feed. Monsanto, EFSA and the UK government then joined the court case in support of the EU Commission. The soybean Intacta has been engineered to be resistant to the herbicide glyphosate and also produces an insecticidal toxin.

The plaintiffs are arguing that EFSA did not assess the risks for health and the environment as requested by EU regulations and therefore no authorisation should have been issued. Amongst other things, risks for the immune system are relevant in this case. The statements of Monsanto & Co cannot be published before the end of the court case.

Whilst the court case on Intacta is still ongoing, the Testbiotech complaint against market authorisation of SmartStax has failed for formal reasons. The deadline for delivering the complaint was not met due to a misunderstanding. Nevertheless, the EU Commission has requested a statement from EFSA on the content of our dossier. Testbiotech will wait for the ensuing EFSA opinion and then make a decision on how to proceed further with this case. Since the aim of the court case on the genetically engineered soybean Intacta is to establish a precedent, its outcome might well be relevant for SmartStax and other imports of genetically engineered plants.