No majority in first vote on Monsanto’s genetically engineered oilseed rape

German government abstained

13. November 2014

13 November 2014 Testbiotech has been informed by the German authorities, that no majority was reached in a vote taken on 24 October by experts from Member States of the EU on the approval for the import of Monsanto oilseed rape MON88302. The German government abstained. The Member States will now have a second vote in the next few weeks. If no majority is reached, the new EU Commission will make a decision. If authorised, the glyphosate-resistant plants will be imported as viable seeds and, in Europe, processed into feed. In its opinion, EFSA confirmed that, “the occurrence of feral GMHT [genetically modified herbicide-tolerant] oilseed rape plants are likely to occur wherever GMHT oilseed rape is transported.” Testbiotech is warning that authorisation for the import of viable oilseed rape kernels will result in the spread of the genetically plants into environment.

A letter sent by several organisations to the German Minister of the Environment and Minster of Agriculture in June 2014, urged the rejection of Monsanto´s application and international initiatives against the spread of genetically engineered organisms. However, so far the German government has not taken any action.

Genetically modified oilseed rape is already spreading uncontrollably beyond the fields in different regions of the world (the United States, Canada, Australia and Japan). In Switzerland, numerous GM rapeseed plants have been found along railway tracks that could be traced back to GM seed transports. Europe is seen as a centre of genetic diversity for the Brassicaceae family to which oilseed rape belongs, and contamination is especially problematic since it would allow the transgenes to spread into native plant populations.

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