Budding of genetically modified fungi-resistant apple
COGEM has been asked to advise on a request for a change to a previously issued licence for the budding of genetically modified apple buds on non-modified rootstocks. The alpha-hordothionin gene has been inserted into the genetically modified apple (Malus pumila). Hordothionin is a protein that originates from barley and plays a role in fungal resistance. The changes concern the withdrawal of one of the two previously licensed locations where the experiments are being carried out and a five-year extension of the licence period for another location. COGEM has already published a positive advisory report for the original licence request as well as for two other licence requests concerning experiments with these genetically modified apple trees. COGEM considers a review of the previous advisory report to be unnecessary, as no new scientific facts or insights have come to light since its publication. Furthermore, in view of the nature of the work, COGEM is of the opinion that the withdrawal of one of the locations where the experiments are being carried out and the extension of the licence period, will not lead to a possible additional environmental risk. Therefore in COGEM’s opinion, the activities described in the modified licence pose a negligible risk for humans and the environment.