March 2, 2004,
just-food.com: Genetically modified oilseed
rape is as safe as conventional oilseed rape, the European
Food Safety Authority (EFSA) recently announced.
The panel’s declaration that they find no difference
between Monsanto’s herbicide tolerant variety
of oilseed rape and that grown naturally comes just
ahead of the European Union’s expected lifting
of the moratorium on the cultivation on bio-engineered
The panel has concluded that the placing on the market
- for import, processing and feed use - of the herbicide-tolerant
GM oilseed rape GT73 is “unlikely to have an adverse
effect on human or animal health or, in the context
of its proposed use, on the environment”.
The scientific assessment was initially made by the
Netherlands and subsequently evaluated by all other
member states. However, questions raised by several
member states led the Commission to ask the EFSA for
a further risk assessment on the GT73 oilseed rape.
The main questions raised by member states included
the possible allergenic risk associated with GT73 and
concerns regarding pesticide residues.
The GT73 oilseed rape has been genetically modified
to provide tolerance to the herbicide glyphosate. The
stated purpose of the modification is to allow farmers
to manage weeds more effectively in oilseed rape fields