EUROPE – The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) GMO Panel has declared herbicide-tolerant maize MON 87429 safe for import, processing, and food and feed uses within the European Union (EU).

On 2 October 2019, Bayer Agriculture submitted the EFSA-GMO-NL-2019-161 application under Regulation (EU) No 503/2013, requesting that the EFSA GMO Panel provide a Scientific Opinion on the safety of GM maize MON 87429.

From the validity date, the EFSA GMO Panel endeavored to respect a time limit of 6 months to issue a scientific opinion on GM maize.

Such a time limit was extended whenever EFSA and/or its GMO Panel requested supplementary information from the applicant.

According to Regulation (EC) No 1829/2003, any supplementary information provided by the applicant during the risk assessment was made available to the EU Member States and EC

Molecular characterization of maize MON 87429 was performed by next-generation sequencing (NGS), junction sequence analysis (JSA), polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and DNA sequence analysis to determine insert copy number, size and organization of the inserted sequences and to confirm the absence of plasmid backbone sequences.

The molecular characterization data and bioinformatic analyses, according to the GMO Panel’s Scientific Opinion, do not reveal any problems that call for further investigation into food or feed safety, nor do they reveal any differences between maize MON 87429 and its conventional counterpart in the agronomic/phenotypic and compositional characteristics that were put to the test.

The DMO, PAT, FT T, and CP4 EPSPS proteins expressed in maize MON 87429 are not poisonous or allergic, and the GMO Panel finds no evidence that the genetic change affects the general safety of maize MON.

The four genes originate from S. viridochromogenes, S. maltophilia, S. herbicidovorans and Agrobacterium sp. strain CP4, respectively, none of which are considered common allergenic sources.

Food and feed made from maize MON 87429 do not pose a nutritional risk to people or animals in the context of this application.

According to the GMO Panel, maize MON 87429 is just as safe as its conventional equivalent and the studied non-GM maize reference varieties, and no post-market surveillance of food or feed is deemed necessary.

They also note that environmental safety issues wouldn’t arise if viable maize MON 87429 grains were accidentally released into the environment.

The scope of application of the GM maize is however only for import, processing, and food and feed uses within the European Union (EU) of maize MON 87429 and does not include cultivation in the EU.

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