Biotech Updates

EFSA Releases Scientific Opinion on Oilseed Rape MS11

May 20, 2020

The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) Panel on Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO Panel) has published the Scientific Opinion on the safety of oilseed rape MS11. The Scientific Opinion is published based on the application EFSA‐GMO‐BE‐2016‐138 under Regulation (EC) No. 1829/2003 for import, processing, and food and feed uses.

Oilseed rape MS11 was developed to confer male sterility and tolerance to glufosinate‐ammonium‐containing herbicides. Based on the information provided in the application, the GMO Panel concludes that the molecular characterization data and bioinformatic analyses do not identify issues requiring food/feed safety assessment. None of the identified differences in the agronomic/phenotypic characteristics tested between oilseed rape MS11 and its conventional counterpart needs further assessment.

The Scientific Opinion also states that no conclusions can be drawn for the compositional analysis due to the lack of an appropriate compositional data set. No toxicological or allergenicity concerns are identified for the Barnase, Barstar and PAT/bar proteins expressed in oilseed rape MS11. Owing to the incompleteness of the compositional analysis, the toxicological, allergenicity, and nutritional assessment of oilseed rape MS11 cannot be completed. However, in the event of accidental release of viable oilseed rape MS11 seeds into the environment, oilseed rape MS11 would not raise environmental safety concerns.

Since oilseed rape MS11 is designed to be used only for the production of hybrid seed, it is not expected to be commercialized as a stand‐alone product for food/feed uses. Thus, seeds harvested from oilseed rape MS11 are not expected to enter the food/feed chain, except accidentally. In this context, the GMO Panel notes that oilseed rape MS11 would not pose risk to humans and animals, while the scale of environmental exposure will be substantially reduced compared to a stand‐alone product.

For more details, read the scientific opinion in the EFSA Journal.

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