EUROPE – The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) panel on Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO) has affirmed the non-toxicity and non-allergenicity of oilseed rape 73496 following a risk assessment.

Oilseed rape 73496 was developed to confer tolerance to glyphosate through the expression of the glyphosate acetyltransferase protein GAT4621.

Glyphosate is a non-selective herbicide and a plant’s tolerance to it enables farmers to kill weeds without harming the crops thus enhancing yields.

 The GMO panel was tasked to carry out a scientific assessment of oilseed rape 73496 meant for import, processing and food within the EU, in accordance with regulation.

The main food commodity derived from it that is regularly consumed by the European population is oil, which is generally devoid of fiber, amino acids, water-soluble vitamins and minerals.

According to the scientific opinion, the molecular characterization data do not pinpoint issues requiring food safety assessment.

None of the identified differences between oilseed rape 73496 and its conventional counterpart in the agronomic/phenotypic endpoints tested needs further assessment.

The panel has not identified safety concerns regarding the toxicity and allergenicity of GAT4621 protein as expressed in oilseed rape 73496 and finds no evidence that the genetic modification would change the overall allergenicity of the product.

 In the context of this application, the consumption of food and feed from oilseed rape 73496 does not represent a nutritional concern in humans.

The strategies to assess the potential risk of allergenicity focused on the source of the recombinant protein, the potential of the newly expressed protein to evoke allergic reactions in already sensitized persons, and on whether the transformation may have altered the allergenic properties of the modified plant.

 Moreover, the assessment also takes into account potential adjuvant properties of the newly expressed proteins, which is defined as the ability to enhance an allergic reaction.

The GMO panel concludes that the crop is as safe as its conventional counterpart and the non‐GM oilseed rape reference varieties tested.

There is a low likelihood of environmental effects resulting from the accidental release of viable seeds from oilseed rape 73496 into the environment.

The implementation of a Post Market Monitoring (PMM) plan is recommended to verify the predicted consumption of the improved crop and its food products, and the application of conditions of uses considered during the pre-market risk assessment.