Proposed animal tests for GM food and feed ignore science and are totally unnecessary
Posted on 14/02/2012
Eurogroup for Animals is extremely disappointed by plans unveiled by the European Commission to introduce obligatory 90-day feeding trials for GMOs in implementing rules due to be discussed with stakeholders today. This proposal goes against the latest scientific advice from the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) published in January this year. This advice states that it should only be carried out on a case-by-case basis as determined by EFSA itself which has so far been the case.
The Implementing Rules for the authorisation of genetically modified food and feed, in accordance with Regulation (EC) No 1829/2003, are currently being discussed by Member States representatives. The inclusion of the obligatory test needs to be removed as it has a major impact on animal welfare and suffering and is not based on any sound scientific basis. The Commission should work to promote the use of non-animal alternative tests instead.
“We believe that the obligatory call is in contradiction to the Commission’s objective to reduce, refine and replace animal testing and to replace it with more modern, state-of-the-art science. There is no scientific reasoning behind the decision to make this test obligatory. It is purely political,”said Sonja Van Tichelen, Director of Eurogroup for Animals.
“We are extremely alarmed that despite there being no evidence that this test has ever yielded any additional significant or useful results it has been accepted by the Commission without discussion. We therefore urge Member States to carefully examine the draft regulation submitted by the European Commission and to support rules which keep the current situation, where a request to perform the 90 day study must in each case be based on a scientific opinion by EFSA,” she concluded.
In addition to the unnecessary use of animal testing the Commission ignores the demands of EU citizens which have expressed major concerns regarding the use of GMOs in food. In the 2010 Eurobarometer survey 66 per cent of European citizens said they were concerned about GM food (Eurobarometer 354, 2010).