Import bans of genetically modified maize
Review of the scientific basis of the Austrian import bans of genetically modified maize
Austrian Federal Ministry of Health and Women
- Umweltbundesamt, Vienna
Austria issued import bans against three genetically modified maize varieties (events) that has been authorised for cultivation in the EU on ground of environmental and health risks. In the meantime, several hybrid varieties including two different genetically modified events, one of which has been banned are in the pipeline for market authorisation. Very recently the WTO dispute on agricultural biotechnology has come to an end, after the Panel Report has found that the national import bans of Austria and other EU Member States are conflicting WTO law. USA, Canada and a couple of other WTO members had filed a complain before the WTO against the EU. The complainants criticised the EU authorisation procedure as a trade barrier and some of the measures not to be substantiated by sound science. As a matter of fact the European Commission is mounting pressure on some Member States including Austria to withdraw their import bans.
Against this backdrop the project pursued three related objectives. Part one reviewed the scientific basis of the Austrian import bans for genetically modified maize MON810 and T25. Part two analysed the impacts of the WTO Panel Report and the options to act for Austria. Part three reviewed the practice of risk assessment of stacked events and identifies key elements for the risk assessment of this type of genetically modified plants.
The results of this project are published in three reports:
- Dolezel, M, Eckerstorfer, M, Gaugitsch, H, Heissenberger, A, Spök, A (2006): Review of scientific evidence including latest findings concerning Austrian safeguard measures for GM-Maize lines MON810 and T25,Vienna: BMGF
- Eckerstorfer, M., Gaugitsch, H., Heissenberger, A., Spök, A. (2006): Analysis of the final report of the WTO Panel in the dispute case “EC – Biotech”. Final Report. Vienna: Umweltbundesamt, IFZ
- Spök, A., Eckerstorfer, M., Gaugitsch, H., Heissenberger, A. (2006): Risk Assessment of stacked events. Final Report. Vienna: Umweltbundesamt, IFZ