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EU to extend phase-out of obsolete GM oilseed rape

The European Commission is to extend the phase-out period by five years for traces of three genetically modified oilseed rape lines that are no longer marketed. The move relates to Bayer CropSciences’ glufosinate-tolerant Ms1xRf1, Ms1xRf2 and Topas 19/2 lines. The Commission’s proposals were endorsed by EU member states in December. EU approvals for the three lines expired in 2007 ( Agrow No 517, p 11). Food and feed stocks had already been used up, but as trace amounts of the GM lines could still exist, their adventitious presence in products up to 0.9% was permitted for five years. While the measures undertaken by Bayer have allowed the removal of “practically all” the GM material from the market, test results show that minute traces of less than 0.1% may still be present in the food or feed chain, the Commission says. Oilseed rape seed can remain dormant for long periods and farm practices when harvesting the seed are also a factor, it adds. Bayer is required to continue its efforts to remove remaining traces during the next five years.

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