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Advisory reports 06.06.2006

Import and processing of herbicide tolerant maize GA21

(060606-01)

The present notification concerns the commercial import and processing for use in feed and food of a genetically modified maize line. The scope of the application excludes cultivation. Maize line GA21 contains the modified epsps gene conferring tolerance to herbicides containing the active ingredient glyphosate. The notification comprehends importation and processing of maize. Therefore, release in the environment can only occur by spillage of maize kernels. In the Netherlands, no wild relatives of maize are present and the appearance of volunteers is never a problem under Dutch conditions. There are no reasons to assume that the inserted traits will increase the now absent potential of the maize line to establish feral populations. Consequently, COGEM is of the opinion that incidental spillage of the hybrid maize line will not pose a risk to the environment in the Netherlands. However, there is a lack of information regarding the molecular analysis. Incomplete data are presented on the 5' flanking sequence. On basis of the available data it can not be ruled out that new chimeric open reading frames were created due to the insertion. Theoretically, these putative open reading frames could give rise to potentially toxic or allergenic products. Based on these considerations, COGEM can not advice positively on the import and processing of the maize line GA21.