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Advisory reports 12.03.2007

Cultivation of genetically modified maize line NK603 x MON810

(070308-02)

This notification concerns the cultivation of genetically modified maize line NK603 x MON810. The maize line harbors the genes cp4epsps and cry1Ab conferring tolerance to glyphosate containing herbicides and resistance to certain lepidopteran insects such as the European corn borer (Ostrinia Nubilalis).

Previously, COGEM advised positively on maize lines with the traits cp4epsps and cry1Ab. In 2003, COGEM issued a positive advice on the import and cultivation of parental maize line NK603 which expresses the cp4epsps gene.
Furthermore, COGEM advised positively on the import and cultivation of the parental maize line MON810 which expresses the cry1Ab gene. COGEM also advised positively on the import of the hybrid maize line NK603 x MON810.

In the Netherlands, no wild relatives of maize are present and establishment of maize plants in the wild has never been observed. There are no reasons to assume that the inserted traits will increase the potential of the maize line to establish feral populations. In addition, the appearance of volunteers is very rare under Dutch conditions.
In the opinion of COGEM, the applicant has sufficiently proven that no toxic or allergenic products are formed as a result of the crossing of maize lines NK603 x MON810. In the opinion of the COGEM, the risk assessment is adequate and the post-market monitoring plan is sufficient.
COGEM wants to point out that the applicant refers to certain studies on non-target organisms which are not present in the dossier. However, COGEM already advised positively on the maize lines MON810 and Bt11. Bt11, MON810 and NK603 x MON810 show similar levels of Cry1Ab expression. COGEM concluded that it was sufficiently proven that the effects on non-target organisms are negligible. Based on these facts and the summary of the studies to which the applicant refers to, COGEM is of the opinion that possible effects on non-target organisms are negligible for maize line NK603 x MON810.

Based on these considerations, COGEM is of the opinion that the cultivation of maize line NK603 x MON810 poses a negligible risk to human health and the environment.