Discussion amongst experts from EU member states in Brussels
Today experts from EU Member States will meet in Brussels to discuss two applications for marketing genetically engineered soybeans developed by Monsanto and Bayer. Both kinds of soybean have been engineered to be tolerant to herbicides, so that they can be sprayed directly with glyphosate (known as Roundup) or glufosinate (known as Liberty or Basta) without being damaged. As a consequence, residues from the herbicide absorbed by the plant tissues remain in the plants. The marketing applications cover import and use in food and feed. Testbiotech and NABU, German partner of BirdLife are warning against market authorisation of these products. There are hardly any data available on the actual content of spray residues in the plants:
European Food Safety Authority under fire because of strong ties with industry
Civil society groups will raise concerns about the independence of the European Food Safety Authority at a key stakeholder meeting on Wednesday 12 October, following a series of allegations concerning conflicts of interest and close ties to industry.
European Food Safety Agency EFSA prepares first Guidance for risk assessment for food from genetically engineered animals
The European Food Safety Authority, EFSA, is for the first time preparing for the authorisation of food derived from genetically engineered animals. After a period of consultation, today is the last day for comments on a first draft of the new EFSA Guidance that will be used to perform risk assessment on relevant products. According to this draft Guidance, EFSA plans to assess the risks of products such as milk, meat, eggs in a way very similar to that used for genetically engineered plants. Issues such as animal welfare and consumer interests are not taken into account. In the next years, products coming up for market authorization might include genetically engineered and patented salmon, which produces additional growth hormones, or products from cows that are engineered with human genes to make their milk similar to human breast milk.