Brussels (31 August, 2005) – The European Commission authorised today the placing on the market of the genetically modified oilseed rape known as GT73 for import and processing. This decision is valid for 10 years and results from an application submitted by the company Monsanto. The GT73 oilseed rape, which is tolerant to the herbicide glyphosate, is already widely used in North America with no reports of any adverse effects on health or the environment. The authorisation today, which is backed by science, covers the specific use for imports of the GM oilseed rape and processing for use in animal feed or for industrial purposes. The authorisation is complemented by a Recommendation concerning the measures to be taken by the consent holder to prevent any damage to health and the environment in the event of the accidental spillage of GT73. Refined oil derived from GT73 oilseed rape has already been approved for food use in 1997 in the EU.

The GT73 oilseed rape has been subject to a rigorous pre-market risk assessment. It has been scientifically assessed by the European Food Safety Authority as being as safe as any conventional oilseed rape. Clear labelling provides farmers and consumers with the information they need to decide whether to buy the product or not. And robust post-marketing rules will ensure that the product can be traced and monitored when put on the market.

GT73 oilseed rape is the third product to be assessed and approved after the entry into force of Directive 2001/18/EC. Today’s authorisation covers the import and the use as animal feed, but not cultivation or food uses. The product will be covered by the new strict labelling and traceability rules which came into force in April 2004. When put on the market, it will need to be clearly labelled as containing genetically modified oilseed rape. Its post-marketing monitoring will be assured through a unique identifier assigned to the oilseed rape to enable its traceability. In addition, the authorisation is complemented by a Recommendation containing a set of guidelines to Monsanto on how to deal appropriately with accidental spillage if it should occur.

During the past four years, the EU has put in place a clear, transparent and stringent system to regulate genetically modified food, feed and crops. The authorisation procedure under this new system ensures that only GMOs which are safe for human and animal consumption and for release into the environment can be placed on the European market. Individual authorisations are granted following appraisal of the GMOs in question on a case by case basis. Requests for authorisations which do not fulfil all criteria have been and will continue to be rejected.


Commission authorises import of GM-oilseed rape for use in animal feed. European Commission (31 August 2005) (


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