Doubly modified soya enters Europe
10.07.2012 - The European Commission has authorised the import of Monsanto’s soya which bears additional genes for a herbicide tolerance and an insecticide.
Just a few days after the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) had approved the cultivation of genetically modified (GM) soya on European soils, the European Commission agreed on another soya matter. On 27 June, without public communication, the Commission authorised Monsanto Company’s genetically engineered soya Intacta RR2 Pro for import to the European Union. These soya plants harbour a combination of gene constructs that convey both tolerance for herbicides and resistance to insects. More specifically, Intacta is a combination of soys MON87701 and MON89788 which produce an insecticidal Bt protein and is tolerant to the herbicide glyphosate, respectively. It is the first time in the EU that gm-soya with stacked gene constructs has been allowed for usage in food and feed.
On 6 July the Brazilian Association of Seeds and Seedlings (ABRASEM) issued a statement „celebrating the opening of new doors to varieties of high technology seeds.“ Brazil is the main beneficiary of the authorisation as Monsanto’s soya is grown and harvested there. Europe is the second main destination of Brazilian soya exports, with China leading the chart. However, Intacta is not yet approved by China so that the European decision could very well be interpreted as trend-setting.