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EFSA clarifies MON810 monitoring advice

The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has clarified its recommendations on monitoring of Monsanto’s genetically modified YieldGard Corn Borer (MON810) maize crops after the company raised concerns about their feasibility. The EFSA had previously criticised the company’s methodology for monitoring insect resistance, but acknowledges “Monsanto’s view to maintain the correct balance between the sampling efforts and the objective to detect resistance in target pests at an early stage”. After a re-assessment, the Authority recommends the identification of a “large” geographical area where the GM maize adoption rate is high, such as the Ebro valley in Spain. It suggests that target pest larvae be collected in three sampling zones, instead of sampling extensively over the entire area. Annual samples should be taken where GM maize represents at least 60% of the total maize area. The re-assessment confirmed that the EFSA’s previous conclusions and recommendations “remain valid”, the Authority stresses.

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