Biotech Updates

Two GM Soybeans to Stay in the Market After EFSA Re-Evaluation

March 4, 2020

The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) ruled out through a new assessment that the genetically modified soybeans MON 89788 and A2704-12 that were previously released in the market are still, in fact, safe. The re-assessment comes after a non-government organizations' request for EFSA to re-evaluate both GM products using two new scientific publications published in 2018 and 2019.

GM soybeans MON 89788 and A2704-12 were issued with renewal authorization to be placed in the market from the European Commission (EC) in November 2019, after EFSA's Scientific Panel on Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO Panel) published their opinions about both GM soybeans. However, EC received a request from non-government organization Testbiotech in December 2019 to re-assess the GM soybeans. Testbiotech claimed that the developers of these GM soybeans should have conducted new field trials that reflected the different management practices and meteorological and agronomic conditions where both GM crops were intended to be grown. The group also said that new feeding studies should have been conducted.

EFSA is tasked to accommodate the request by law. Hence, the re-evaluation was done. EFSA concluded that the arguments raised by Testbiotech, which were based on two scientific articles published in the last two years, do not reveal any new information that will render the previous findings and conclusions by the GMO Panel invalid. Thus, EFSA considers that the previous GMO Panel risk assessment conclusions and risk management recommendations on GM soybeans MON 89788 and A2704-12 remain valid and applicable.

Read the full technical report by EFSA to find out more.

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