Import and processing of maize line MON 87472 with tissue-selective tolerance to glyphosate

Advisory reports | 14.03.2013 | CGM/130314-01

The present application (file EFSA/GMO/BE/2012/110) concerns import and processing for use in feed and food of the genetically modified maize line MON 87427. Cultivation is not part of this application.
Maize line MON 87427 selectively expresses the cp4 epsps gene in vegetative and female reproductive tissues. As a result, the maize line is tolerant to glyphosate containing herbicides with the exception of the male reproductive tissues.
The applicant showed by Southern blot analyses that MON 87427 contains one copy of the insert at a single integration locus and that the backbone of the plasmid used for transformation is absent. Bioinformatic analysis of the junctions of the inserted sequences and the maize genomic DNA, identified fourteen open reading frames (ORFs). The translated sequences from these ORFs were analysed for similarity to known toxins or allergens. No similarities were found. The molecular characterization of maize line MON 87427 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 trait will increase the potential of maize to establish feral populations. The introduced gene cannot spread to closely related species since wild relatives of maize are not present in Europe. COGEM considers the appended General Surveillance plan adequate for import of MON 87427.
In view of the above, COGEM is of the opinion that incidental spillage of MON 87427 poses a negligible risk to the environment. COGEM abstains from giving advice on the potential risks of incidental consumption since a food/feed assessment is already carried out by other organizations. COGEM considers the environmental risks associated with import and processing of maize line MON 87427 to be negligible.

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