The European Commission recently gave the go ahead for the placing on the market of products – for food and feed purposes – containing, consisting of, or produced from various Genetically Modified maize.

The 11 Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) concerned have gone through a comprehensive authorisation procedure, including a favourable scientific assessment by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA).

The GMOs approved had received a “no opinion” vote from the Member States in both the Standing and Appeal Committees and the Commission decided to adopt this pending decision.

The authorisations are valid for 10 years, and any product produced from these GMOs will be subject to the EU’s strict labelling and traceability rules.

Recently, a new GMO soybean was approved by the EFSA, with the soybean strand deemed as safe as the non-genetically modified soybean varieties.

The Panel on Genetically Modified Organisms of the EFSA (GMO panel) announced that it did not identify any safety concerns after assessing the two single soybean strands combined to produce soybean 305423 × 40-3-2.

Based on the molecular, agronomic, phenotypic and compositional characteristics, the combination of soybean strands 305423 and 40-3-2 did not raise concerns regarding food and feed safety or nutrition, according to the GMO panel.

The newly approved soybean strand is herbicide-tolerant and high in oleic-acid, says the GMO panel.

Risks associated with the unlikely, but theoretically possible, horizontal transfer of recombinant genes from soybean 305423 × 40-3-2 to bacteria were not identified during the assessment by the GMO panel.

GMOs can only be cultivated or sold for consumption in the EU after they have been authorised at the EU level. This process includes a scientific risk assessment.

The EU food labelling system obliges companies to indicate if the food or feed they produce contains GMOs. This applies when GMOs account for at least 0.9% of the food or the feed.