Scientific Opinion on a request from the European Commission related to the prolongation of prohibition of the placing on the market of genetically modified oilseed rape event GT73 for import, processing and feed uses in Austria
Following a request from the European Commission, the Panel on Genetically Modified Organisms of the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA GMO Panel) evaluated the documentation provided by Austria to support the prolongation of the safeguard clause measure prohibiting the placing on the market of the genetically modified oilseed rape event GT73 for import, processing and feed uses in Austria. The EFSA GMO Panel assessed whether the submitted documentation comprised new scientific information that would change or invalidate the conclusions of its previous risk assessments on oilseed rape GT73. The EFSA GMO Panel also considered the relevance of the concerns raised by Austria in the light of the most recent data published in the scientific literature. The authorised uses of oilseed rape GT73 exclude cultivation, but data on gene flow, persistence and invasiveness derived from cultivation were considered as a worst case, representing conditions where exposure and potential impact are expected to be the highest, to assess possible environmental impacts resulting from seed import spills. In the documentation provided by Austria and in the scientific literature, the EFSA GMO Panel could not identify new scientific evidence that indicates that the import, processing and feed uses of oilseed rape GT73 in the EU pose a significant and imminent risk to the environment. The EFSA GMO Panel does not consider the occurrence of occasional feral oilseed rape GT73 plants, pollen dispersal and consequent cross-pollination as environmental harm in itself. In conclusion, the EFSA GMO Panel considers that, based on the documentation supplied by Austria and a review of recent scientific literature, there is no specific scientific evidence in terms of risk to the environment that would support the notification of a safeguard clause measure under Article 23 of Directive 2001/18/EC nor its prolongation, and that would invalidate its previous risk assessments of oilseed rape GT73.