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Two GM soybeans gain EFSA clearance

Two genetically modified soybean lines have gained safety clearance from the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) for import, processing and use in food and feed. They are: Monsanto’s insect-resistant MON87701 line; and DuPont seed subsidiary Pioneer Hi-Bred international’s dual herbicide-tolerant 356043 (Optimum GAT) line. MON87701 contains the Bt Cry1Ac toxin for the control of lepidopteran pests. Monsanto is developing insect-resistant soybeans specifically for cultivation in Latin America and gained Brazilian approval last year for the Bt Roundup Ready 2 Yield (MON87701xMON89788) line ( Agrow No 602, p 24). Pioneer applied for EU approval of Optimum GAT in 2007. However, since then, legal and regulatory difficulties elsewhere have resulted in the company delaying launch plans ( Agrow No 618, p 2). The EFSA’s two opinions will go forward for consideration by the European Commission and EU member states.

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