Import and processing of genetically modified maize line 98140

Advisory reports | 16.01.2009 | 090116-01

The present application by Pioneer Hi-Bred International Inc. (file EFSA/GMO/UK/2008/53) concerns import and processing for use in feed and food of the genetically modified maize line 98140. Cultivation is not part of this application.
Maize line 98140 has been genetically modified by insertion of the zm-hra and gat4621 genes resulting in tolerance to glyphosate containing and ALS inhibiting herbicides. 
During its long domestication process, maize has lost its ability to survive in the wild. In the Netherlands, the appearance of maize volunteers is rare and establishment of volunteers in the wild has never been reported. There are no reasons to assume that the introduced traits will increase the potential of maize to establish feral populations. The introduced genes cannot spread to closely related species since wild relatives of maize are not present in Europe. Therefore, COGEM is of the opinion that incidental spillage of maize line 98140 will probably not pose a risk to the environment.

However, COGEM points out that the molecular analysis of maize line 98140 does not meet the criteria of COGEM as the applicant restricted the analysis of putative open reading frames at the junction between maize genomic DNA and the T-DNA fragment to amino acid sequences that start with a methionine residue.
Although COGEM is of the opinion that import and processing of this maize line will not pose a risk to the environment, in view of the incomplete molecular characterization COGEM cannot advise positively on the application for import and processing of maize line 98140.

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