In November 2011, Greece 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 23 of Directive 2001/18/EC.
On 22 May 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 Greece.
The EFSA GMO Panel has scrutinized the documentation provided by Greece in support of its safeguard clause on GM maize MON 810. The EFSA GMO Panel considered the relevance of concerns raised by Greece in the light of the most recent and relevant scientific data published in the scientific literature. This also includes the conclusions of the EFSA GMO Panel assessments of the PMEM results on maize MON 810 during the 2009 and 2010 growing seasons.
During its evaluation of the supporting documentation, the EFSA GMO Panel has noted that the majority of the publications referred to by Greece were already addressed in its past scientific outputs on maize MON 810 or other related insect-resistant GM maize transformation events and therefore refers to them.
In the four remaining evidence related to the environmental risk assessment provided by Greece, the EFSA GMO Panel could not identify any new data subject to scientific scrutiny or scientific information that would invalidate its previous risk assessments of maize MON 810. Against this background and in order to facilitate a thorough assessment of potential risks, the EFSA GMO Panel strongly recommends Member States who invoke safeguard clauses under Directive 2001/18/EC or emergency measures under Regulation (EC) No 1829/2003 to supply scientific data of a quality which can be subjected to detailed scientific scrutiny.
In addition, Greece did not supply scientific evidence to show that the conclusions of the previous risk assessments of the EFSA GMO Panel of maize MON 810 were not applicable to Greece.
With regard to issues related to management and monitoring of maize MON 810, the EFSA GMO Panel refers to its recent recommendations for management and monitoring measures of maize MON 810.
In conclusion, the EFSA GMO Panel finds that the scientific evidence currently available does not sustain the arguments provided by Greece and that cultivation of maize MON 810 in Greece is unlikely to have an adverse effect on human and animal health and the environment.