Import and processing of GM cotton GHB614 x T304-40 x GHB119 x COT102
COGEM was requested to advise on the environmental risks associated with import of genetically modified (GM) cotton GHB614 x T304-40 x GHB119 x COT102 for use in food and feed. This GM cotton expresses the cry1Ab, cry2Ae, and vip3Aa19 genes, resulting in resistance to certain insect pests. In addition, this cotton line contains the 2mepsps and bar genes, conferring tolerance to glyphosate and glufosinate-ammonium containing herbicides. The aph4 gene, coding for hygromycin-B phosphotransferase (APH4) selectable marker, is also present in the plant.
The Dutch climate is not suitable for growing cotton and cotton plants cannot survive. There are also no wild relatives of cotton in North West Europe. Thus, the inserted sequences from cotton line GHB614 x T304-40 x GHB119 x COT102 cannot spread to other species.
The molecular characterization of cotton line GHB614 x T304-40 x GHB119 x COT102 meets the requirements of COGEM. The introduced traits in cotton GHB614 x T304-40 x GHB119 x COT102 will not allow the GM cotton to survive in the Dutch environment. COGEM has published several recommendations for further improvement of the general surveillance (GS) plan but considers the current GS plan adequate for import and processing of GM cotton GHB614 x T304-40 x GHB119 x COT102.
COGEM is of the opinion that import and processing of cotton GHB614 x T304-40 x GHB119 x COT102 poses a negligible risk to the Dutch environment. COGEM abstains from giving advice on the potential risks of incidental consumption, as a food/feed assessment is carried out by other organisation.