Import and processing of genetically modified maize NK603xT25

Advisory reports | 13.12.2010 | 101213-02

The present application by Monsanto Europe S.A. (file EFSA/GMO/NL/2010/80) concerns import and processing for use in feed and food of the genetically modified maize line NK603xT25. Cultivation is not part of this application.
Maize line NK603xT25 was produced by conventional crossbreeding of parental maize lines NK603 and T25. NK603xT25 expresses the genes cp4 epsps, cp4 epsps L214P and pat. As a result, this maize line is tolerant to glyphosate and glufosinate ammonium containing herbicides.
Maize line NK603xT25 has not been previously assessed by COGEM. COGEM did advise positively on cultivation of both parental maize lines. 
The molecular analysis of the inserts present in this maize line has been updated. The presence of newly created open reading frames at the junction sites of the DNA introduced in maize NK603 and T25, and present in maize line NK603xT25, was analyzed. The amino acid sequence was deduced and analyzed in silico for similarity to known toxins or allergens. No similarity was found. The molecular characterization of maize line NK603xT25 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 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 NK603xT25 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.

Download publication