News last update:6 Aug 2012

EU authorises new GM rapeseed crops

The European Commission has today authorised three new genetically modified (GM) oilseed rape crops.

The crops, known as Ms8, R13 and Ms8xR13 have been genetically modified to make them resistant to the herbicide glufosinate ammonium. They will be used in animal feed and for industrial purposes only, EU officials said in a statement in Brussels yesterday.

The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) said that a strict scientific assessment had found the three rape varieties to be "as safe as conventional oilseed rapes." Processed oil derived from these GM oilseeds has already been approved for food use in the EU.

According to the Commission, the crops have been authorised for a period of 10 years. Strict product labelling and monitoring procedures will apply, in addition to measures that must be taken by Bayer (the company who developed them) to prevent damage to health and the environment should there be accidental cross-contamination with conventional or organic rapeseed varieties.

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