Scientific Opinion on application (EFSA-GMO-BE-2010-79) for the placing on the market of insect resistant genetically modified soybean MON 87701 for food and feed uses, import and processing under Regulation (EC) No 1829/2003 from Monsanto
This scientific opinion is an evaluation of a risk assessment of the genetically modified, insect resistant, soybean MON 87701 for food and feed uses, import and processing. Soybean MON 87701 was developed through Agrobacterium-mediated transformation. It contains a single insert consisting of a cry1Ac expression cassette, encoding the Cry1Ac protein that confers resistance against specific lepidopteran insects. The stability of the insert was confirmed over multiple generations. Bioinformatic analyses of the insert and its flanking regions, and levels of newly expressed protein did not raise safety concerns. Comparative analyses of compositional, phenotypic and agronomic characteristics indicated that soybean MON 87701 is not different from its conventional counterpart (A5547) and equivalent to commercial soybean varieties, except for having an increased vitamin E content (still within normal ranges) and expressing the Cry1Ac protein. The safety assessment of the Cry1Ac protein and soybean MON 87701 identified no concerns regarding potential toxicity and allergenicity. A feeding study on broiler chickens confirmed that defatted soybean MON 87701 meal is as nutritious as conventional defatted soybean meal. There are no indications of an increased likelihood of establishment and spread of feral soybean plants. Considering its intended use as food and feed, environmental risks associated of an unlikely but theoretically possible horizontal gene transfer from soybean MON 87701 to bacteria have not been identified. Potential interactions of soybean MON 87701 with the biotic and abiotic environment were not considered due to the low level of exposure. The monitoring plan and reporting intervals are in line with the intended uses of soybean MON 87701. The EFSA GMO Panel considers that the soybean MON 87701, as described in this application, is as safe as its conventional counterpart with respect to potential effects on human and animal health and the environment in the context of its intended uses.