Seed World

EU Approves Herbicide Tolerant GM Oilseed Rape, Cotton and Soybeans

The European Union recently gave the green light for three new genetically modified (GM) crops: oilseed rape, cotton and soybeans. In addition, the group is reviewing authorization for GM cotton.

GM oilseed rape 73496, GM cotton GHB811 and GM soybeans GMB151 were all modified to have a level of tolerance against herbicides, according to The International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-biotech Applications (ISAAA).

“Herbicide tolerant (HT) crops offer farmers a vital tool in fighting weeds and are compatible with no-till methods, which help preserve topsoil. They give farmers the flexibility to apply herbicides only when needed, to control total input of herbicides and to use herbicides with preferred environmental characteristics,” stated a separate publication by ISAAA.

All three GM crops have undergone a comprehensive and stringent procedure and have passed a risk assessment by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA). The authorizations and renewal are valid for 10 years-not including cultivation.

Scientific Opinions

The European Food Safety Authority’s (EFSA) Scientific Opinion concluded that the three GM crops are, “as safe as their conventional counterpart and the tested non-GM reference varieties with respect to the potential effects on human and animal health and the environment,” said ISAAA.

EFSA also deduced the consumption of the crops does not present nutritional concerns for humans or animals.

For cotton GHB614, the Scientific Opinion concluded that the crop does not contain proof of any new risks, modified exposure or scientific uncertainties. Therefore, the conclusions of the original risk assessment, adopted by EFSA in 2009, still stand.

Read More About Biotechnology Adoption and Challenges:

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All Farmers in Mainland Australian States Now Free To Grow GM Crops

Japanese Researchers Develop New Gene-Editing Tool to Create Non-GM Crops

GM Crops’ Benefits to Fight Climate Change May Be Underestimated Than Previously Documented