The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has found that Monsanto’s MON810 genetically modified maize poses no risk to human health or the environment, based on data from the 2010 growing season.
The top European regulators scientific opinion on the Post-Market Environmental Monitoring (PMEM) report for 2010 concluded that cultivation of the maize MON810 – otherwise known as YieldGuard – had no adverse effects on human and animal health or the environment.
In its assessment of the report, EFSA’s Panel on Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO Panel) also said the outcomes of the PMEM report corroborate the findings of EFSA’s previous assessment on maize MON810 cultivation for the 2009 season.
“From the data submitted by the applicant in its 2010 monitoring report, the EFSA GMO Panel does not identify adverse effects on the environment, human and animal health due to maize MON810 cultivation during the 2010 growingseason,” said the report.“The outcomes of the 2010 monitoring report do not invalidate the previous EFSA GMO Panel’s scientific opinions on maize MON 810.”
The GMO Panel also noted shortcomings in the methodology used for the monitoring; but said such shortcomings did not have implications on its overall conclusions for the safety of the GM maize.
The full EFSA scientific opinion on MON810’s growing season data for 2010 can be found by clicking here.
The news that EFSA have once more concluded that Monsanto’s GM crop poses no risk to human health or the environment will come as a blow to recent French efforts to ban the crop.
The French Government, for example, recently called on the European Commission to ban the insect-resistant strain of maize – urging the European regulator to overturn the authorisation for the use of the maize crop. The French ministry of environment and sustainable development argued that results of recent scientific research do show that GM product has health and environmental risks.
The dispute began with France’s 2008 ban of MON810, which was put in place after the Government ruled the GM maize was a “serious risk to the environment.” However, a court ruling last November found that the Government had not produced enough evidence to back its claims that the crop posed a risk to health or the environment.
In 2008 EFSA published its initial positive opinion on MON810. In its report the regulator disputed the French claims that the genetically modified maize product poses a potential risk to health and the environment.
At the time, the GMO Panel concluded that “in terms of risk to human and animal health and the environment, the provided information package does not present new scientific evidence that would invalidate the previous risk assessments of maize MON810”.