EUROPE – The European Union has approved herbicide tolerant genetically modified oilseed rape, and soybeans as safe having gone through a comprehensive and stringent procedure, including a favorable risk assessment by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA).

The authorization for the two crops, oilseed rape 73496 and soybeans GMB151 is valid for 10 years and does not include cultivation.

In its scientific opinions for each of the crops, EFSA concluded that they are as safe as their conventional counterpart and the tested non-GM reference varieties with respect to the potential effects on human and animal health and the environment.

The authority also concluded that the consumption of the two crops does not represent any nutritional concern for humans and animals.

On 15 May 2012, Pioneer Overseas Corporation, based in Belgium, submitted, on behalf of Pioneer Hi-Bred International, Inc., based in the United States, an application to the national competent authority of the Netherlands for the placing on the market of foods, food ingredients and feed containing, consisting of or produced from genetically modified oilseed rape 73496.

The application also concerned the placing on the market of products containing or consisting of genetically modified oilseed rape 73496 for uses other than food and feed, with the exception of cultivation.

In 2019, herbicide tolerant canola also known as rapeseed oil, was approved for food, feed, and processing for the first time in the Philippines. In the same year, biotech canola was planted on 10.1 million hectares, which is 29% of global biotech area, making it one of the most adopted biotech crops by the 29 biotech planting countries.

USA is the world’s top producer of soybeans while Brazil is the top exporter of soybeans in the world.

HB4 drought tolerant soybeans were approved in the USA in 2019 following approvals in Argentina in 2018 and Brazil 2019. Other countries that planted the crop in 2019 include Paraguay, Canada, Bolivia, Uruguay, and South Africa.

The Authority also concluded that the monitoring plan for the environmental effects, submitted by the applicant, consisting of a general surveillance plan, is in line with the intended uses of the products.

In addition, EFSA recommended implementing a post-market monitoring plan, focusing on the collection of data of imports entering into the Union as regards the two and products derived from them for food and for feed.

The implementing decisions for each of the crops are published in the Official Journal of the European Union.

Lat year, the European Commission authorized six genetically modified crops including 3 maize, 2 soybeans, 1 oilseed rape and renewed the authorizations for two maize and one oilseed rape used for food and animal feed.

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