Following a request from the European Commission, the Panel on Genetically Modified Organisms of the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA GMO Panel) assessed the results of the general surveillance (GS) activities contained in the revised annual post-market environmental monitoring report on the cultivation of maize MON 810 during the 2013 growing season provided by Monsanto Europe S.A.
The EFSA GMO Panel assessed the 2013 GS dataset on maize MON 810, which consists of a survey based on 256 questionnaires received from farmers in four European countries, peer-reviewed publications relevant to the risk assessment and/or management of maize MON 810 (published between June 2013 and the beginning of June 2014), and alerts on environmental issues issued by regulatory authorities and existing surveillance networks. To identify relevant publications not reported by the applicant, the EFSA GMO Panel performed a literature search and assessed the relevance of retrieved scientific publications for the safety of maize MON 810. The available data do not indicate any unanticipated adverse effects on human and animal health or the environment arising from the cultivation of maize MON 810 during the 2013 growing season. Therefore, the EFSA GMO Panel considers that its previous conclusions on the safety of maize MON 810 remain valid and applicable.
Similar methodological shortcomings to those found in previous annual PMEM reports on maize MON 810 were identified by the EFSA GMO Panel in the analysis of farmer questionnaires and conduct of the literature review. The EFSA GMO Panel therefore strongly reiterates its recommendations to provide more detailed information on the sampling methodology and to reduce the possibility of selection bias in farmer questionnaires, and to ensure that all relevant scientific publications are identified. In order to improve the sampling frame of the farmer survey, the EFSA GMO Panel reiterates the importance of national GMO cultivation registers; and its recommendations to applicants to consider how they may make best use of the information recorded in national registers and foster dialogue with those responsible for the administration of these registers where maize MON 810 is cultivated.
No information collected from existing monitoring networks in the EU was provided by the applicant. However, the EFSA GMO Panel notes that initiatives have been taken to develop a methodological framework to use existing networks in the broader context of environmental monitoring, and encourages relevant parties to continue to use these.
The outcome of the literature review reinforces previous recommendations on insect resistance monitoring as part of the insect resistance management plan, and to use farmer questionnaires as a tool to capture early warning signs indicating increases in tolerance in populations of non-target lepidopteran pests in the field.
With regard to rove beetles (Coleoptera: Staphylinidae), the applicant is requested to continue screening, reviewing and discussing relevant scientific publications on possible adverse effects of maize MON 810 on rove beetles.