EFSA to discuss re-authorisation of transgenic Mon810 maize
Paris/Parma – Agrobiotech-sceptical France wants the European food watchdog EFSA to restart its current review of marketing re-authorisation of transgenic Mon810 maize, which is at present the only GM crop allowed to be planted in the EU on a commercial scale. According to EU insiders, the initiative is backed by 18 member states, who signed a letter sent to the EFSA. As a reaction, the EFSA now invited the EU member states on May 21 to name two experts per member state to discuss the topic with EFSA representatives on May 26.
In mid-April, German Agriculture Minister Ilse Aigner had prohibited planting of Mon810 referring to studies presented by Luxembourg that had forbidden Mon810 cultivation only two weeks before. The studies suggest that there might be a fatal effect of the Bt-toxin Cry1Ab, which is used in Mon810 but also in organic farming, on non-target organisms such as ladybugs. The studies however had been critisised within the scientific community because the toxic effect observed was stronger at low and medium concentrations than at high concentrations, which is not in line with any known toxicity model. GM proponents said, that not one case of negative impact of Mon810 cultivation has been reported since the crop has been planted on a commercial scale in Spain (since 1998). They now fear that France will start a politically-motivated campaign against the Mon810 line, that is backed by a majority of the EU member states.