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Crop Biotech Update

EFSA Updates Advice on Environmental Safety of GM Maize

November 25, 2011

GM Maize 1507 is unlikely to raise a safety concern for the environment as long as appropriate management measures are implemented during cultivation. This was the updated scientific advice of the Panel on Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO) of the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA). Maize 1507 is a genetically modified plant developed to express an insecticidal protein that protects it from certain Lepidoptera pests.

A new mathematical model was developed to simulate and assess potential adverse effects related to exposure of non-target Lepidoptera insects to GM maize pollen. It enabled the Panel to show that in certain cultivation conditions, some species of highly sensitive non-target butterflies and moths may be at risk when exposed to maize 1507 pollen.

The GMO Panel recommended management measures to address possible resistance in target pests to the insecticidal protein found in maize 1507 and to reduce the risk of exposure to the plant's pollen for certain highly sensitive species of non-target butterflies and moths.

The EFSA press release is at http://www.efsa.europa.eu/en/press/news/111118.htm.