34 I EUROPEAN SEED I EUROPEAN-SEED.COM REGULATORY KEEPING YOU INFORMED OF LEGISLATIVE AND REGULATORY CHANGES IN EUROPE AND ABROAD FROM LAWSUITS TO APPROVALS TO OTHER REGULATORY ISSUES AFFECTING YOUR BUSINESS. NATIONAL NEW INSIGHTS ON SAFETY STUDIES OF GMOS Feeding studies of GM foodfeed have been studied in detail by an EU-funded project called GMO Risk Assessment and Communication of Evidence GRACE. The project team used GM maise event MON 810 in a 90-day and one-year feeding study. The team did not find any indica- tion that a routine performance of 90-day feed- ing studies with whole foodfeed would provide additional information on the safety on MON810 when compared to the compositional compari- son of the GM variety. Results also indicate that feeding the rats with MON810 did not lead to any adverse effects. Additional findings support the scientific reasoning that feeding trials with whole foodfeed may provide an added scientific value for the risk assessment of GM crops but only in case a trigger is available from the initial molecular compositional phenotypic and or agronomic analyses. OPPOSITION TO GMOS HURTING DEVELOPING NATIONS A new study published by the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation ITIF and authored by Val Giddings Robert Atkinson and John Wu reveals how opposition to geneti- cally modified organisms GMOs hurts develop- ing nations. According to the report campaigns against GMOs originating primarily in Europe have created significant obstacles to the devel- opment and adoption of genetically modified crops. The authorsemphasised that the restric- tive climate for agricultural biotech innova- tions could cost low- and lower-middle-income nations up to US1.5 trillion in foregone eco- nomic benefits through 2050. Opponents of agri- cultural biotechnology have argued that GMOs would benefit only industrialised nations and would price farmers from developing nations out of the market. The authors wrote that these groups were wrong. Experience and data have shown that crops improved through biotech- nology provide significant benefits for farmers. Biotech-improved seeds are even more impor- tant to farmers in developing countries than in developed nations because the former have less capacity and access to other innovations that boost productivity e.g. modern tractors etc. but they can afford improved seeds. This is the reason why farmers in developing nations plant more biotech-improved seeds than farmers in industrial nations despite massive European and advocacy group efforts to discourage them. INTERNATIONAL AUSTRALIA APPROVES RELEASE OF GM CANOLA Australias Office of the Gene Technology Regulator has issued a license in response to application DIR 138 from Bayers Crop Science division authorising the commercial release ofcanolagenetically modified GM for dualherbicide toleranceand to facilitate production. The release is authorised to take place throughout Australia. The GM canola and products derived from itmay enter general commerce including use in human food and animalfeed. Food Standards Australia New Zealand FSANZ has approved the use in food of material derived from this GM canola. The decision to issue the license was made after consultation on the Risk Assessment and Risk Management Plan with the public state and territory governments Australian Government agencies the environment minister the Gene Technology Technical Advisory Committee and local councils as required by the Gene Technology Act 2000 and the corresponding state and territory legislation. PHILIPPINE GOVERNMENT APPROVES REVISED GM REGULATIONS The Joint Department Circular JDC titled Rules and Regulations for the Research and Development Handling and Use Transboundary Movement Release into the Environment and Management of Genetically- Modified Plant and Plant Products Derived from the Use of Modern Biotechnology was finally approved and signed by the secretaries of the Philippine governments Departments of Agriculture DA Science and Technology DOST Environment and Natural Resources DENR Health DOH and Interior and Local Government DILG. The approval is expected to lift the temporary ban on research field testing commercialisation and importation of GM crops and biotech products in the coun- try brought about by the Supreme Court deci- sion which was metwith criticisms from the scientificand academiccommunity farmer groups traders food and feed processors and livestock producers as well as disappoint- ment fromfarmers who are looking forward to better quality GM seeds particularly the insect resistant Bt talong eggplant the field trials of which were permanently stopped by the high court. According to economic studies Bt talong can have significant socioeconomic benefits for both farmers and consumers such as reduc- tion in chemical pesticide use. It is expected to greatly benefit major eggplant producing provinces such as Pangasinan which has high insect pest pressure from Bt talongs target insect the fruit and shoot borer. KENYA APPROVES BT MAIZE FOR LIMITED RELEASE Kenyas Biosafety Authority has granted a con- ditional approval for environmental release of insect resistant maize Bt maize for National Performance Trials. The Bt maize has been genetically modified GM to produce an insecticideBt protein that kills certain insect pests. The gene added to the maize comes from the soil bacterium Bacillus thur- ingiensis Bt which has long been known to possess an insecticidal effect and widely used in organic agriculture. The transformed crop will be able to withstand stem borers known to reduce maize production by an average of 13 per cent or 400000 tonnes of maize equiv- alent to the normal yearly amount of maize that Kenya imports. Other African countries that have already authorised the sale of GM crops include Burkina Faso South Africa and Sudan. In 2014 South Africa grew 2.1 million hectares of biotech maize of which 28 per cent was Bt maize. The Kenyan approval was reached after comprehensive review of the application submitted by Kenya Agricultural Livestock and Research Organization and the African Agricultural Technology Foundation in June 2015. The review process included a public participation exercise where stake- holders submitted written comments on the application.