On 20 of June, the EU Commission sent a reply to Testbiotech in response to the e-mails they received concerning “Stop SmartStax” (http://www.testbiotech.de/node/834). Testbiotech is of the opinion that the reply is misleading and is likely to damage the credibility of the EU Commission. It looks like the Commission, while pushing for market authorisation, is giving preference to commercial interests rather than a scientific argumentation. Despite the EFSA having provided risk assessment of SmartStax as far back as 2010, the Commission only recently started the process of market authorisation after there were reports about SmartStax being imported illegally. Stopping these imports would conflict with the interests of feed industry and companies like Monsanto which are producing these plants.
Munich, 13.6.2013 Two publications shedding light on the risk assessment of the genetically engineered maize SmartStax came out this week. Scientists in Australia fed a mixture of genetically engineered maize to pigs and found it had significant effects on their health. The feed used in the Australian trial had a similar mixture of residues from spraying with herbicides and insecticidal toxins as SmartStax. It is currently not known if SmartStax could have similar effects.
Several thousand e-mails have been sent to political decision makers regarding the market authorisation of the genetically engineered maize, SmartStax. Although a vote was taken by the EU Member States in Brussels yesterday, a decision was not actually reached. Several thousand supporters from Germany have already signed a petition started by a coalition of NGO’s in May to support independent risk research. Testbiotech will continue to support both the action against SmartStax and the petition in the German Parliament.