Additional advice import of genetically modified oilseed rape MS11

Advisory reports | 08.06.2020 | CGM/200608-02

In 2017, COGEM issued an advice on the application for  import and processing of genetically modified (GM) oilseed rape MS11. MS11 contains the bar gene conferring tolerance to glufosinate-ammonium containing herbicides. It expresses the barnase gene which results in lack of viable pollen. MS11 also contains the barstar gene which, according to the applicant, enhances the transformation frequency.
MS11 is a male sterile line that will never be commercialised as a stand-alone product, because it is designed to be used only for the production of hybrid seed. Therefore, in its advice COGEM pointed out that the environmental risk assessment of the single event MS11 is not relevant and stated that the request for authorisation of the hypothetical import and processing of  MS11 is a striking example of following unnecessary procedures.
Recently, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) published its scientific opinion on import and processing of oilseed rape MS11. The opinion also took into account the scientific comments submitted by the EU Member States.
COGEM reiterates that the hypothetical import and processing of MS11 poses a negligible risk to the environment in the Netherlands, but that the permit application of MS11 is an example of following unnecessary procedures which leads to needless administrative workloads, costs and delays in authorisation processes.

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