Biotech Updates

Field Trials of GM Maize, Barley in Europe

April 24, 2009

Several genetically modified crop varieties are scheduled for limited, non-commercial release in Iceland, Romania and Spain this month. These include:

  • Five transgenic maize lines developed by Pioneer Hi-Bred AgroServicios Spain. The maize lines were modified to resist important insect pests in Spain such as the western corn rootworm and the European corn borer. Some lines are also resistant to glyphosate, glufosinate and acetolactate synthase (ALS)-inhibiting herbicides.
  • Syngenta's Bt11 and Ga21 maize and their hybrids also for release in Spain, as required for the registration of the maize varieties in the country's Official Commercial Varieties Register.
  • Insect resistant maize varieties developed by Monsanto Company and Pioneer Hi-Bred, NK603 and DAS-59122-7 respectively, in Romania.
  • A growth-factor expressing transgenic barley in Iceland developed by ORF Genetics.

Certain measures, such as maintaining an isolation distance of 200 meters and destruction of GM plant materials after trials, will be adopted by the applicants to prevent transgene escape. Environmental risk assessments have shown that the release pose no harmful effects to human and animal health or to the environment.

The detailed list is available at