Import and processing of herbicide tolerant cotton LLCotton25
The present application by Bayer CropScience GmbH concerning file EFSA/GMO/NL/2005/13, ‘Glufosinate ammonium-tolerant Cotton, LLCotton25’ refers to the commercial import and processing for use in feed and food of a genetically modified cotton line. Cultivation is not part of this application. The recombinant cotton line is genetically modified by insertion of the bar gene. As a result, LLCotton25 confers tolerance to herbicides containing the active ingredient glufosinate ammonium. The cotton line is already commercially grown in the United States of America and Canada. In Europe, no wild relatives of cotton are present and modern cotton cultivars do not possess any of the attributes commonly associated with problematic weeds. There are no reasons to assume that the inserted genes will increase the potential of the cotton to run wild. Furthermore, establishment of feral populations in cotton producing countries is never observed. Cotton can not survive the climatological conditions in North-West Europe. COGEM is of the opinion that without irrigation, cotton volunteers can not survive and establish themselves in the wild. Therefore, COGEM is of the opinion that incidental spillage of seeds of the cotton line will pose no risk to the environment in the Netherlands nor in Europe. As the present application does not concern cultivation of LLCotton25 and incidental spillage will pose a negligible risk to the environment in North-West Europe. COGEM is of the opinion that an assessment by the COGEM of the molecular analysis does not contribute to the risk analysis. The risk of consumption of cotton seeds is already assessed by both the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) and the national food safety authorities. In view of these considerations, COGEM is of the opinion that the proposed import and processing of cotton line LLCotton25 does not pose a significant risk for human health and the environment in the Netherlands.