On of the first things new EU Commissionair for Health and Consumers John Dalli did today was to authorized BASF's GM potato Amflora.
The EU Commission is only in office since a week, and the responsibility for GM crops was moved from DG Environment to DG Health. Yesterday Dalli talked to members of the EU parliament, but he then nevertheless took a fast decision then.
There are two different authorizations: one for the cultivation of Amflora, and and a second one for feed that - in an unprecedented move to avoid liability for contamination - also allows for food contamination with Amflora of up to 0.9%.
This is something completely different then the 0.9% we currently have that only concerns labelling: If a contamination with an authorized GMOs is less then 0.9% and if this contamination was adventitious and/or technically unavoidable, then the producer does not have to label the product as containing GMOs. Contamination with un-authorized GMOs however is not allowed.
The authorization of Amflora breaks this rule and in principle also opens the door for all kind of contamination with GMOs that are not authorized as food/feed in the EU.
The application had also included authorization as food/feed, and EFSA had already given a positive opinion on it in 2006. However, in it, the risk assessment for health impacts does not make any difference for the consumption of only small amounts of Amflora. This means that there is no scientific basis for restricting safe consumption to 0.9%.
As Jens Karg from Global 2000 describes it quite well: This can only be describe "Kniefall" - as surrendering to the biotech industry.
- Amflora - EU - cultivation