Testbiotech sends open letter to German government
25. November 2014 / A final vote on the authorisation for the import of the genetically engineered oilseed rape produced by Monsanto (MON88302) has been scheduled for 28 November. The German government abstained in the first round of voting. If no majority is reached in this final vote it will be up to the EU Commission to make a decision. If authorised, the glyphosate-resistant plants will be imported as viable seeds and, in Europe, processed into feed. However, it is strongly assumed that there will be spillage from transportation of the seeds, which could lead to the uncontrolled spread of the genetically engineered plants into environment. Consequently, it could be the non-authorised feral growing of these plants which will contaminate the fields and lead to gene flow into native populations.
In an open letter to the German government, Testbiotech is warning that the import of viable seeds might lead to the failure of the German´s government efforts to implement a national ban on their cultivation under the so-called new EU opt-out regulations.
Testbiotech points out that the European Food Safety Authority, which is responsible for risk assessment, is considerably underestimating the potential of oilseed rape to spread into the environment. Amongst others, the authority has not taken into account existing experience in Japan where the import of viable seeds has already led to many feral populations along transport routes. In its risk assessment, EFSA has acknowledged that the import will lead to the spillage of viable seeds, but has nevertheless assumed the risk of uncontrolled spread to be low.