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Time to relax regulations for assessing food safety of GM plants

Gepubliceerd op
3 februari 2014

RIKILT Wageningen UR has issued a publication in which it states that it is time to relax the regulations for assessing the food safety of genetically modified plants

Particularly the plants which are classified as ‘stacked’, i.e., conventional crossings between GM plants that have been admitted to the European market.

The peer-reviewed publication Plants with Stacked Genetically Modified Events: to assess or not to assess? is the result of a collaboration between researchers from seven EU member states.

Detailed dossier

When a business wants to introduce a genetically modified plant to the European market, it must first submit a detailed dossier to the EU to prove that the plant is safe. This likewise applies to stacked genetically modified lines. The authors contend that there is no scientific reason for standardly requiring this additional research data: the genetically modified plant which has been crossed under conventional conditions has already been assessed and approved. The authors are pushing for a change in European regulations on this front.

Traditional cultivation methods

There is also a wide difference at present between the assessment of GM plants and plants developed by traditional cultivation methods. There are no scientific grounds to justify this difference since the advent of new cultivation techniques has made it possible to make major alterations in plant genetics in various ways. RIKILT Wageningen UR maintains that the procedures and regulations should be based on the latest scientific insights.