But not all details of the new regulation are real improvements
17 April 2019 / The EU Parliament has adopted a “new regulation on transparency and sustainability of the EU risk assessment in the food chain”. The regulation requests industry and authorities to improve access to data with relevance for food safety and the environment. Most observers positively note that relevant data from industry must in future be registered in a publicly available database. Further, the EU Commission can now request specific investigations to resolve uncertainties and open questions regarding risk assessment.
Testbiotech calls for the re-assessment of import approvals
20 March 2019 / Testbiotech is demanding a detailed re-assessment of all import approvals for genetically engineered glyphosate-resistant plants after a US federal court confirmed that glyphosate mixtures, such as Roundup, can be a contributory risk factor for cancer. The plants can be sprayed with very high dosages of glyphosate, and in the countries where they are grown, such as South America and the US, herbicide mixtures can be applied that are not approved in the EU.
According to research carried out by Testbiotech, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has already given non-regulated status to more than 20 plants genetically engineered with so-called genome editing techniques. None of the applications registered at USDA were referred for further more detailed assessment. The Testbiotech report published today shows that there are however significant differences in methods of production, traits and risks of the non-regulated plants in comparison to those derived from conventional breeding.
The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has signalled that it is in favour of approving further controversial genetically engineered maize variants produced by Bayer (Monsanto). The recent EFSA opinions published in January 2019, deal with two approval applications for maize developed through cross-breeding to combine several genetically engineered traits. The plants are resistant to up to four groups of herbicides (glyphosate, glufosinate, 2,4-D and AOPP) and produce up to six insecticides.