Additional advice on import and processing of GM oilseed rape MS8, RF3 and MS8xRF3
At the start of 2022, COGEM advised on the application for the second renewal of the authorisation for import and processing of genetically modified (GM) oilseed rape MS8, RF3 and MS8xRF3. These GM oilseed rape events are tolerant to glufosinate ammonium containing herbicides and expresses a pollination control system. In its previous advice COGEM stated that the provided Post Market Environmental Monitoring (PMEM) plan needed to be adapted before the market authorisation could be renewed. The comments made by COGEM were submitted to the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) by the Dutch Competent Authority. EFSA recently published its assessment of GM oilseed rape events MS8, RF3 and MS8xRF3 in the context of the renewal of the authorisation for import and processing. EFSA has not included COGEM’s objections in its recently published opinion on GM oilseed rape MS8, RF3 and MS8xRF3, and the monitoring plan has not been changed. COGEM’s previous objections concerning monitoring along transport routes and transshipment areas therefore remain valid.
In several European countries, GM oilseed rape has been detected along transport routes. If feral GM B. napus populations arise, gene flow between different GM oilseed rape events could give rise to stacked GM oilseed rape events with a new combination of GM traits, or feral GM B. rapa harbouring GM traits. As the potential adverse effects of stacked events on the environment are still unknown, COGEM remains of the opinion that monitoring along transport routes and transshipment areas should be explicitly included in the PMEM plan for MS8, RF3 and MS8xRF3 before the authorisation is renewed.