Monsanto withdraws maize from regulatory approval citing commercial reasons
By Dr. Mae-Wan Ho and Prof. Peter Saunders
Institute of Science in Society
In a dramatic move, Monsanto has withdrawn its genetically modified (GM) maize, LY038, from commercial approval in Europe after safety concerns prompted the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) to request further evidence from the company .
At the end of April 2009, two letters were sent to EFSA by Monsanto’s European subsidiary company Renessen, withdrawing applications originally submitted in 2005 . The whole episode was shrouded in secrecy before being uncovered by Dr. Brian John of GM-Free Cymru. There has been no mainstream press report, and no record on the EFSA website. Not only LY038, but also the stacked variety LY038 x MON810 – derived from a cross between LY038 and another GM variety MON810 – has been withdrawn. MON810 is currently banned in many countries in Europe  Europe Holds the Key to a GM-Free World, 5th Conference of GM-Free Regions, Food & Democracy (SiS 43), and has its own hazards [4-6] (GM Maize Disturbs Immune System of Young and Old Mice , GM Maize Reduces Fertility & Deregulates Genes in Mice, SiS 41; MON810 Genome Rearranged Again, SiS 39).
The GM maize LY038, modified to produce high levels of the amino acid lysine, was deregulated in the United States, despite our protest  (Why Not Transgenic High Lysine Maize, SiS 29); and subsequently approved as safe to eat in Canada, Japan, S. Korea, the Philippines and Australia/New Zealand in 2006-7 . It belongs to the much touted “second generation”, “nutritionally enhanced” GM crops that are supposed to benefit consumers, but are insidious health risks instead  (GM Crops and Microbes for Health or Public Health Hazards? SiS 32).
In its letter to the EFSA, Renessen Europe stated that “conducting further studies … can no longer be justified, in view of the additional costs involved and the reduced commercial interest in this product.”
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