Detail from label of No-GMO Popcorn - design by Juan Wilson

Christoph Then

TestBiotech

Safety of Monsanto’s Synthetic-Toxin maize to be re-examined

Testbiotech and GeneWatch UK formally request withdrawal of EU market authorisation of Monsanto´s genetically engineered maize Genuity VT Triple PRO Corn with synthetic toxins.

28 July 2011. The non-profit organisations Testbiotech (Germany) and GeneWatch UK have submitted a formal request to the European Commission to re-examine market authorisation of a genetically engineered maize produced by Monsanto sold under brand Genuity VT Triple PRO Corn (event MON89034 x MON 88017) that produces a synthetic toxin, intended to kill insect pests. This maize was approved for usage in food and feed by the EU Commission on 17th of June. It produces a combination of three different insecticidal toxins, one of which is synthesised artificially. Further, the plants are made tolerant to the herbicide glyphosate (known as Roundup). 

The organisations are filing a formal request for internal review of the EU Commission´s decision according Article 10 of Regulation (EC) No. 1367/2006 because the legally required high level of protection for consumers, farm animals and the environment are not met and legal requirements for monitoring of health effects have been ignored completely. They argue that the authorisation should be withdrawn.

“This maize produces a unique combination of insecticidal proteins. In the parts of this plant, a synthetic Bt toxin is produced. Its toxicity might affect a much wider spectrum of species than expected. Further combined effects have to be expected with the other toxins and the residues from spraying with the herbicide. These risks can impact both on health and the environment,” said Helen Wallace from GeneWatch UK. “But none of these risks were properly examined before approval was granted.”

The plants were not tested for health effects in feeding studies. Only a short term trial for its nutritional quality was performed in poultry. The residues from spraying with glyphosate formulations were also not considered by the European Food Safety Authority EFSA. There are further legal requirements for monitoring of potential health effects that were ignored by the EU Commission:

No plan for monitoring as required by European regulation was made available that would allow identification of particular health impacts that might be related to the use of these genetically engineered plants in food and feed. There is not even a reliable method to measure the level of toxins produced in the maize and to trace the products within the market,” said Christoph Then from Testbiotech.

According the request prepared by the two organisations, this case is also of general relevance for the setting of risk assessment standards by EFSA that are currently under discussion before being adopted as EU regulations. This case shows that in general much more effort is needed to ensure the high level of protection for human health and the environment required by the framework of the EU regulations.

Since this case is a precedent, the NGOs have the option of considering further legal steps such as a case at the European Court of Justice if the EU Commission rejects their request for internal review.

Currently, genetically engineered crops mainly enter the EU from North and South America as soya or maize for use in animal feed. Maize containing a single Bt toxin is also grown for use in animal feed in Spain. Numerous “stacked events” containing multiple Bt toxins and/or resistence to one or more herbicides are awaiting regulatory approval in the EU. Herbicide resistant “superweeds” are becoming a major problem for American farmers growing herbicide tolerant GM crops and pests are also developing resistance to the Bt toxins included in many GM crops. A recent Canadian study suggested that the assumption made by regulators that Bt toxins do not survive in the human gut may be incorrect.


Link to Testbiotech and the request as filed to the EU Commission: http://www.testbiotech.de/node/526

Link to GeneWatch UK: http://www.genewatch.org/uploads/f03c6d66a9b354535738483c1c3d49e4/Document_Request_for_internal_review_MON89034xMON88017.pdf

Contact:

Helen Wallace, + 44 7903 311584, helen.wallace@genewatch.org

Christoph Then, + 49 151 54638040, info@testbiotech.org.,

 

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8 Responses to “Genetically engineered maize with synthetic toxin approved for usage in EU food and feed”

  1. colleen says:

    We are fighting this evil corp also. Don’t give them an inch, it will cost you many lives.

  2. Uncle B says:

    Plutonium producing reactors, Humanocidal seeds, planned obsolescent cars, “Throw-away” products, cancer causing cigarettes, poorly tested drugs, astoundingly effective military tools for slaughtering humanity, medicine devoted not to healing but to unnecessary mutilation of people adjusting them to fit some fanciful advertisers notion of a passing ideal, food additives to increase shelf life, profitability, not to ameliorate food values at all, unhealthy diets high in meat, grease, and starches, almost unfit for human consumption with chemical flavorings flavor enhancers added for marketability, flogged in adverts, all, hallmarks of American styled Capitalism. Beware! China has learned to wield this style of Capitalism like a death saber in this new world economy. We see the ruins of Detroit City, Gary Indiana, reduced to Third World in decades, and now a U.S. government that ‘deffers” its national debt, rather than biting the bullet, taxing all, even the rich and the corporations, and sets up the further ruination of the remaining wealth producing Middle Class through cut backs, taxation.
    Dangerous seeds are not the only evil to come from a nation obsessed with Return on Investment at all costs – costs they are now beginning to pay! Crapitalism I call it! Crapitalism!

  3. Barbara Talbert says:

    I am not surprised but I am sad for people in the EU and everywhere as Monsanto and the US government have coerced many into thinking that these bio-engineered products are harmless. I thought that Europe was resisting but perhaps they have been threatened somehow and I would not be surprised at that either. Fifty years ago this would not have been able to happen as people had more common sense than to put a pesticide into a plant but I fear common sense has died–no doubt poisoned by chemicals.

  4. Pierre says:

    SHAME ON BRIT”S, I WISH THEY GET VERY SICK WITH GMO PRODUCTS!

  5. Pierre says:

    Shame on brit’s I wish they get very sick with GMO products!

  6. amicus curiae says:

    FSANZ aus approved a soy flour for human use here last year. the ONLY data was a 38 day shed tril in chooks.
    letters of protest at shoddy approvals were ignored.
    now ,despite denials last year, they want to GROW the muck here in aus too.

  7. Lisa says:

    The PRO-Agenda 21 slugs are intentionally damaging people, the environment, all life forms, for thier depopulation agenda. This is documented FACT, not conspiracy ‘theory’.