Response by COGEM to the French Opinion on MON810

Advisory reports | 01.02.2008 | 080131-04

The recently published report by the French Comité de préfiguration d’une haute autorité sur les organismes génétiquement modifiés concludes that new facts about the genetically modified maize line MON810 raise questions about the consequences for humans and the environment of using MON810. COGEM was asked whether the French report gives cause to revise its opinion on MON810.

MON810 is a genetically modified maize line which expresses the cry1Ab gene which confers resistance to the European corn borer and other insects. MON810 has been authorised for import and cultivation in Europe since 1998 and commercial cultivation of this maize line in Europe started in 2003.

Since the introduction of MON810 numerous publications have appeared on research into the environmental safety of this maize line. None of these publications indicates that MON810 poses a risk to humans and the environment. In addition, publications on the possible effects of the Cry1Ab toxin do not show that this toxin poses a risk to humans and the environment. Monitoring reports on the cultivation of MON810 or other maize lines that produce the Cry1Ab toxin do not prove that the cultivation of these crops will lead to damaging effects.

Even in the light of the French report, COGEM considers that any risks associated with the cultivation of MON810 are negligible. COGEM is therefore of the opinion that there is no reason to rescind the authorisation of MON810.

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