Import and processing of genetically modified maize MIR162

Advisory reports | 19.10.2010 | 101019-04

The present application by Syngenta Crop Protection AG (file EFSA/GMO/DE/2010/82) concerns import and processing for use in feed and food of the genetically modified maize line MIR162. Cultivation is not part of this application.
Maize line MIR162 expresses the vip3Aa20 gene conferring resistance to certain lepidopteran insects. In addition, this maize line expresses the pmi gene which acts as a selectable marker enabling transformed plant cells to utilize mannose as a carbon source.
 Previously, COGEM issued positive advices on import and processing of maize lines Bt11xMIR162xGA21 and Bt11xMIR162xMIR604xGA21. Maize line MIR162 was evaluated in these applications. In the current application the bioinformatic analysis of the junctions between the insert and the maize genomic DNA was updated. The molecular characterization of maize line MIR162 meets the criteria of COGEM.
 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 or interactions between the transgenic proteins 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.
In view of the above, COGEM is of the opinion that the risks for humans and the environment associated with import and processing of maize line MIR162 are negligible. A food/feed safety assessment is carried out by other organizations. Therefore, COGEM abstained from advice on the potential risks of incidental consumption.

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