EUROPE – The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has declared the herbicide tolerant and insect resistant maize, Five-event GM Stack Maize and its subcombinations as Safe as Non-GM Maize.

Following the submission of application EFSA-GMO-NL-2018-151 the Panel on genetically modified organisms (GMO) of the European Food Safety Authority was asked to deliver a Scientific Opinion on the safety of genetically modified MON 89034 × 1507 × MIR162 × NK603 × DAS-40278-9 also known as ‘five-event stack maize’.

The five-event stack maize was produced by crossing to combine five single maize events: MON 89034 expressing Cry1A.105 and Cry2Ab2 for protection against certain lepidopteran pests, 1507 expressing Cry1F for protection against certain lepidopteran pests and PAT protein for tolerance to glufosinate-ammonium-containing herbicides.

It was also crossed with MIR162 expressing Vip3Aa20 (for protection against certain lepidopteran pests) and PMI (selectable marker), NK603 expressing CP4 EPSPS (for tolerance to glyphosate-containing herbicides) and DAS-40278-9 expressing AAD-1 (to confer tolerance to 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4-D) and the aryloxyphenoxypropionate (AOPP) containing herbicides).

The scope of application is for import, processing, and food and feed uses within the European Union (EU) and does not include cultivation in the EU.

The GMO Panel has previously assessed the single events MON 89034, 1507, MIR162, NK603, and DAS-40278-9 and did not identify safety concerns, reports ISAAA.

No new data on the single maize events or the assessed subcombinations were identified that could lead to the modification of the original conclusions on their safety. As such, the GMO Panel resolved that its previous conclusions on the safety of the single maize events remain valid.

“Since no new safety concerns were identified for the previously assessed subcombinations, and no new data leading to the modification of the original conclusions on safety were identified, the GMO Panel considers that its previous conclusions on these maize subcombinations remain valid,” said EFSA.

The GMO Panel concluded that the five-event stack maize is as safe as the comparator and the selected commercial non-GM maize reference varieties with respect to potential effects on human and animal health and the environment.

The term ‘subcombination’ refers to any combination of up to four of the events present in the five-event stack maize. The safety of subcombinations that have either been or could be produced by crossing through targeted breeding approaches, and which can be bred, produced and marketed independently of the five-event stack, are risk assessed separately in the present scientific opinion.

The  EFSA GMO Panel has published their assessment on the EFSA journal.

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