EU indecisive over GM crop approvals

More EU decisions on approving products derived from genetically modified crops have been delayed following the inability of member states to return the required qualified majority votes. The latest round affects three applications for GM maize, oilseed rape and soybean lines, which will now be passed to an appeal committee for another vote. One application is for the renewal of the EU approval for Herculex I (1507) insect-resistant maize from Dow AgroSciences and DuPont seed subsidiary DuPont Pioneer (both now part of DowDuPont). The maize has been used in food and feed for many years and its renewal was given safety clearance by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) in January.

The other applications concern new approvals for import and use in food and feed. The e-tolerant oilseed rape combines Monsanto’s glyphosate-tolerant TruFlex Roundup Ready (MON88302) with Bayer’s glufosinate-tolerant MS8 and RF3 lines. The application also covers sub-combinations of MON88302 with either MS8 or RF3. The EFSA has given a positive assessment of the application, with the recommendation that the submitted post-market environmental monitoring plan for the three-trait stack be expanded to include the two sub-combinations.

The soybean line combines Monsanto’s Roundup Ready with DuPont’s acetolactate synthase-inhibiting herbicide-tolerant and high-oleic acid Optimum GAT (305423). The EFSA recently concluded that new DNA sequencing information did not change its positive assessment of the two-trait line in 2016. The individual traits already hold EU food/feed-use approval.