EFSA panel considers nptII plant gene safe

19-04-2007 | |

New information provided by the European Medicines Agency (EMEA) has made EFSA’s GMO panel to reconfirm its opinion on the use of the nptII gene as a selectionable marker in GM plants for food or feed.

The nptII gene (neomycin phosphototransferase II)
provides resistance to certain antibiotics, such as the aminoglycosides
kanamycin, neomycin and geneticin, in plants. The panel previously addressed the
issue of whether the antibiotic resistance could be transferred from plants to
animals in 2004, finding that there is no scientific evidence that such a
transfer would occur.

New assessment
On the basis of evidence
– both previously existing and additional – the panel considers that it is “very
unlikely” that the presence of the nptII gene in plants would change the
existing prevalence of the gene in bacterial sources in the environment and
therefore poses no risk to human or animal health or the
environment.

EFSA has forwarded its opinion to the EC and EU member
states (plus Norward and Sweden). These, it says, “will now be able to take into
account EFSA’s most recent scientific advice on the nptII gene when considering
GMO authorisation issues.

Related website:
EFSA

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(Source: Foodnavigator.com)

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