EFSA GMO Newsletter September/ October/ November 2013

The Commission has decided to approve Maize SmartStax and PowerCore for import and processing (www.testbiotech.org/en/node/940)

Further the Commission wants the Member States to take a vote on Maize 1507 (Pioneer/ DuPont) for cultivation (http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=COM:2013:0758:FIN:...). The Council of Agricultural Ministers is due to vote on 27 January 2014.

According to the EU Commission (e-mail from 6 of November to Testbiotech), Monsanto has withdrawn 5 applications for the cultivation of genetically engineered maize (Maize MON89034 x MON88017, Maize MON89034, Maize MON89034 x NK603, Maize NK603 x MON810, Maize MON88017) and one for sugarbeet (Sugarbeet H7-1).

Testbiotech has filed comments on EFSA's Scientific Opinion on applications from Bayer on Maize T25 – herbicide resistance to glufosinate - (renewal) www.testbiotech.org/node/949 and Monsanto Soybean 87708, - herbicide resistance to Dicamba - www.testbiotech.org/node/950. Both applications are for import.

On 13 September the “Standing Committee on genetically modified food and feed & environmental risk” (http://ec.europa.eu/food/plant/standing_committees/sc_modif_genet/index_...) took a vote on Monsantos Maize drought MON 87460 (www.testbiotech.de/node/754) and on 14 October on Syngenta´s oilseed rape GT73 (http://www.testbiotech.de/node/773). Both applications are for import. No conclusions were reached. In the case of MON87460, even the German government voted against the application because this maize has an antibiotic resistance marker gene. The Appeal Committee voted on 21 October on MON87460 (http://ec.europa.eu/dgs/health_consumer/dgs_consultations/docs/appeal_co...), so the Commission is now about to make a final decision. The vote on GT73 was postponed.

New Opinions
EFSA has published a series of opinions:

Further, EFSA published a new opinion on genetically engineered maize 59122 of Dow AgroSciences: www.efsa.europa.eu/en/efsajournal/pub/3443.htm. This statement is interesting because EFSA confirms lack of essential data for performing risk assessment for pollinators, non target organisms and sensitive areas. It is the first time, EFSA withdraws one of its own opinions on risk assessment of genetically engineered plants. In this case it is argued by EFSA that industry provided wrong informations on a study with honey bees. Further data were missing on risk assessment for non target organisms. The statement of EFSA more or less confirms criticism that was raised earlier, also by experts of Member States (www.testbiotech.org/node/788). Maize 59122 was also used for production of SmartStax.