In 2008, COGEM published advice on a renewal notification for cultivation, import and processing of T25 maize. This maize line expresses the pat gene conferring tolerance to glufosinate-ammonium containing herbicides and was authorised in the European Union for all uses with the exception of food in 1998.
In its advice, COGEM concluded that cultivation, import and processing of T25 maize poses a negligible risk to the environment. Although the provided ‘general surveillance’ plan was considered adequate to detect unexpected effects due to cultivation of T25 maize, COGEM identified some points that could be improved.
In the beginning of 2013, the applicant limited the scope of the notification to import and processing and submitted a new general surveillance plan. Subsequently, EFSA published its opinion regarding import and processing of T25 maize. The Netherlands’ Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment (IenM) asked COGEM whether the opinion of the EFSA GMO panel, including additional information from the applicant, answers COGEM’s previous remarks.
In its previous advice, COGEM noted that the general surveillance plan was based on the voluntary participation of stakeholders and that their cooperation in general surveillance was not guaranteed.
In the recently submitted general surveillance plan it is stated that the operators have agreed to provide information relevant for the monitoring of T25 maize to the authorisation holder. In addition, it is stated that the authorisation holder will be able to give evidence that the networks of operators collect this information. As these statements ascertain that the operators will participate in general surveillance, COGEM’s previous concern has been met.
Previously, COGEM noted that most stakeholders mentioned in the general surveillance plan were involved in handling and processing of maize. Monitoring of unexpected adverse effects of cultivation of T25 maize on the farm level received less attention. Therefore, COGEM suggested using a more detailed plan to monitor effects at farm level. As the notification no longer includes cultivation this point of concern is obsolete.
COGEM considers the general plan sufficient for import and processing of T25 maize.
In conclusion, COGEM is of the opinion that import and processing of T25 maize poses a negligible risk to the environment and considers the provided general surveillance plan adequate for import and processing of T25 maize.
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