On 20 February 2012, France provided to the European Commission a scientific argumentation in support of its request for the prohibition of the placing on the market of the genetically modified (GM) maize MON 810 according to Article 34 of Regulation (EC) No 1829/2003.
On 16 April 2012, the European Commission requested the European Food Safety Authority’s Panel on Genetically Modified Organisms (EFSA GMO Panel) to assess the supporting documentation submitted by France.
The EFSA GMO Panel considered the relevance of concerns raised by France in the light of the most recent and relevant scientific data published in the scientific literature. During its evaluation of the supporting documentation, the EFSA GMO Panel has noted that some publications referred to by France were already part of the submission package by France for its safeguard clause and emergency measure on maize MON 810 in 2008. Those publications were addressed previously by the EFSA GMO Panel in its 2008 Scientific Opinion on the safeguard clause and emergency measure notified by France on maize MON 810, which concluded that no specific scientific evidence, in terms of risk to human and animal health or the environment, was provided that would justify the invocation of a safeguard clause under Article 23 of Directive 2001/18/EC and an emergency measure under Article 34 under Regulation (EC) No 1829/2003.
In the remaining documentation provided by France in support of the current emergency measure on maize MON 810, the EFSA GMO Panel could not identify any new science-based evidence indicating that maize MON 810 cultivation in the EU poses a significant and imminent risk to the human and animal health or the environment.
In relation to the management and monitoring of maize MON 810, the EFSA GMO Panel has previously assessed the Post-Market Environmental Monitoring (PMEM) plan and PMEM reports of maize MON 810 for the 2009 and 2010 growing seasons. Hence, the EFSA GMO Panel refers to its recent recommendations to improve the management and monitoring measures of maize MON 810 and other Bt-maize transformation events. The EFSA GMO Panel confirms from its evaluation of the PMEM results on maize MON 810 that no adverse effects on the environment, human and animal health due to maize MON 810 cultivation were identified during the 2009 and 2010 growing seasons.
In conclusion, the EFSA GMO Panel is of the opinion that, based on the documentation submitted by France, there is no specific scientific evidence, in terms of risk to human and animal health or the environment, that would support the notification of an emergency measure under Article 34 of Regulation (EC) No 1829/2003 and that would invalidate its previous risk assessments of maize MON 810.