Import and processing of genetically modified oilseed rape LBFLFK with an altered fatty acid profile

Advisory reports | 10.02.2020 | CGM/200210-01
  • The present application (EFSA/GMO/DE/2019/157) concerns the authorisation for import and processing for use in food and feed and other products (containing or consisting) of genetically modified (GM) oilseed rape LBFLFK;
  • Oilseed rape LBFLFK was produced by Agrobacterium rhizogenes mediated transformation. The T-DNA region was inserted at two locations in the oilseed rape genome. The T-DNA consists of thirteen different expression cassettes. Twelve encode enzymes involved in the synthesis of fatty acids. Their expression is driven by seed-specific promoters. As a result of the modification, the seeds of LBFKF contain omega-3 long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (LC-PUFAs), such as eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA).
    The thirteenth expression cassette encodes a modified AHAS protein, conferring tolerance to imidazolinone containing herbicides;
  • Feral oilseed rape populations occur across the Netherlands, with a small number of plants (25 or less) per location, along distribution routes and handling areas as a result of spillage of oilseed rape seeds during transport and transshipment;
  • Oilseed rape can hybridise with Brassica rapa which is a common plant along Dutch roadsides. To a lesser extent it can also hybridise with Brassica juncea and Brassica oleracea;
  • Stable incorporation (introgression) of genes from napus into wild populations of B. rapa and B. napus may be possible;
  • The molecular characterisation of LBFLFK meets the criteria of COGEM;
  • Apart from a reduced seed germination rate, the phenotypic and agronomic characteristics of LBFLFK are comparable to conventional oilseed rape;
  • There are no indications that LBFLFK is able to grow in other habitats than conventional oilseed rape;
  • COGEM is of the opinion that import and processing of LBFLFK oilseed rape poses a negligible risk to the environment in the Netherlands;
  • COGEM considers the provided PMEM plan adequate for import and processing of LBFLFK oilseed rape;
  • COGEM abstains from giving advice on the potential risks of incidental consumption since a food/feed assessment is carried out by other organisations.
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