Munich, 23 September 2012. French researchers have reported severe adverse effects on the health of rats fed with the genetically engineered maize NK603 or exposed to a low concentration of a pesticide formulation. Consequently, the Commission has announced that European Food Safety Authority EFSA will evaluate the French study by the end of the year. However, already on 27 of September the EU Member States will vote on market authorisation for a new genetically engineered maize (MIR162) foreseen for usage in food and feed.
Testbiotech is of the opinion that the results of the study as published should be taken seriously and is urging for a change in practice of EU risk assessment. The discussion about the French study reveals several deficits in the current procedures:
Testbiotech is demanding the re-organisation of the risk assessment of genetically engineered plants in the EU. Further political initiatives are needed to strengthen risk assessment to make it more independent of industry. The risks of the products already placed on the market must be re-evaluated to far higher standards than those currently applied. New market authorisations such as the one for MIR162 should be put on hold. EU regulation requests application of the precautionary principle to protect consumers and that the marketing of products must be stopped if new findings raise doubts about the safety of genetically engineered plants.