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EFSA approves new Pioneer GM maize

Following a request from Pioneer, who wishes to enter the European market with its GMO maize 59122xNK603, EFSA has examined the potential risks that the maize could have on the health and the environment. For the European Food Safety this GMO maize does not represent a particular danger.

The Expert Group on Genetically Modified Organisms of the European Feed Safety Authority (EFSA) has published a scientific opinion on the authorization of 59122xNK603 maize (glyphosate and glufosinate tolerant genetically modified), resistant to insects. The authority has issued a favourable opinion on 1 December for the marketing of GM maize. In delivering its scientific opinion, the GMO Panel considered the new request, the additional information provided by the applicant (Pioneer Hi-Bred International) and the scientific comments submitted by Member States.

Only food and feed use

The scope of the request was for use in food and feed, import and processing of GM maize 59122xNK603 and all derivatives, but is excluding any culture in the European Union. The is of the opinion that "molecular characterization of the DNA of 59122xNK603 maize does not raise any security issue" and that sufficient evidence for the stability of the genetic modification have been provided.

For EFSA, there were no indications of an increased risk of establishment or survival of wild maize plants in case of accidental release into the environment of the maize seeds during transport and food processing and food uses.

No negative effect

In conclusion, the Committee believes that the information available on the Pioneer maize variety from scientific observations and questions raised by Member States shows that it is "as safe as its non-GM counterpart, regarding its potential effects on human and animal health or the environment." Therefore, the GMO Panel of EFSA concludes that the 59122xNK603 maize represents "no probable negative effect on human or animal health or the environment as part of its use."

Natalie Berkhout

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