EU member states fail to stop authorisation of new genetically engineered ‘toxic soybeans’

Plants are resistant to a cocktail of herbicides known to be harmful to human health

15. September 2017

15 September 2017 / In a vote taken yesterday by EU member states, no qualified majority was reached to stop the authorisation of new genetically engineered soybeans produced by Bayer and Dow AgroSciences. These companies want the EU to approve two new genetically engineered soybeans for import and usage in food and feed. Both these new soybean plants have been engineered to be resistant to three herbicides known to leave residues in the harvest. According to the data available, consumption of the soybeans is likely to pose health risks.

Testbiotech does not yet have full information on how the member states voted. Now Testbiotech wants to convince the EU Commission, which has to take a decision within next weeks, not to allow these soybeans onto the market.

Testbiotech points out that the herbicides are known to leave residues in the harvest that may potentially pose significant health risks – but these were not investigated in detail. Furthermore, in field trials carried out by industry to assess the risks, the dosage of herbicides applied was not in accordance with practical conditions in countries such as the US, Brazil or Argentina. Finally, not all of the relevant herbicides were applied to the plants. Therefore, the data as compiled by industry are not sufficient to assess the actual health risks arising from consumption of these soybeans.

Christoph Then, Tel 0049 151 54638040,

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