France Rejects EFSA’s Opinion on GM Maize
The European Food Safety Authority's (EFSA) GMO Panel has recently released a scientific opinion on the safety and renewal of authorization for continued marketing of the GM maize MON810 in Europe. EFSA concluded that the insect-resistant maize, the only genetically modified crop approved for cultivation in the European Union, "is as safe as its conventional counterpart with respect to potential effects on human and animal health."
However, France has rejected EFSA's opinion, according to a report by the Agence France-Presse (AFP). The country's ecology and agriculture ministries said EFSA had failed to "take into account requests to change the way it evaluated the risk."
In a joint statement, the French ministries pointed out that "the conclusions of the European Council of Environment Ministers must be respected." The Council of Environment Ministers had called on EFSA to change its assessment methods. "EFSA's opinion could not take these assessment methods into account, since they are still being reviewed," the ministries said. France, together with Greece, Hungary, Luxembourg, Austria and recently Germany, has banned the cultivation of MON810, saying the GM maize poses danger to the environment.
Read the press release (in French) at http://agriculture.gouv.fr/sections/presse5022/communiques/avis-8217-aesa-sur EFSA's scientific opinion is available for download at http://www.efsa.europa.eu/cs/BlobServer/Scientific_Opinion/gmo_op_ej1149_maizeMON810_finalopinion_en.pdf?ssbinary=true
This article is part of the Crop Biotech Update, a weekly summary of world developments in agri-biotech for developing countries, produced by the Global Knowledge Center on Crop Biotechnology, International Service for the Aquisition of Agri-Biotech Applications SEAsiaCenter (ISAAA)