On 26 January 2012, in response to a request from the European Commission, the Panel on Genetically Modified Organisms of the European Food Safety Authority(EFSA GMO Panel) adopted a scientific opinion on the monitoring report for the 2010 growing season, provided by BASF, on genetically modified (GM) potato EH92-527-1 (variety Amflora). During its assessment of the 2010 monitoring report, the EFSA GMO Panel had identified shortcomings in the methodology for both general surveillance and the specific field study on potato-feeding organisms as required in the related Commission Decision, and hence provided recommendations for the improvement of the Post-Market Environmental Monitoring (PMEM) of potato EH92-527-1.
Following a similar request from the European Commission to assess the monitoring report of the same potato EH92-527-1 for the 2011 growing season, the EFSA GMO Panel assessed, in close collaboration with the EFSA Unit for Scientific Assessment Support, the methodology used by the applicant in the case-specific studies, the general surveillance of potato EH92-527-1 and the specific field study to monitor potential adverse effects on potato-feeding organisms as required in the related Commission Decision. The methodology used for the monitoring of potato EH92-527-1 in 2011 is similar to that used in 2010. Therefore, the EFSA GMO Panel mostly focused on the new 2011 datasets, i.e., data from farmer questionnaires, monitoring of potato-feeding organisms and monitoring of volunteers in fields in which potato EH92-527-1 was grown for starch production in 2010.
The EFSA GMO Panel notes similar shortcomings in the methodology for general surveillance and the specific field study to monitor potential adverse effects on potato-feeding organisms as were found in the 2010 monitoring report. Hence, the EFSA GMO Panel reiterates the same recommendations for improvement of the methodology used in the PMEM of potato EH92-527-1 as it did in its scientific opinion on the 2010 monitoring report.
The EFSA GMO Panel also assessed the methodology of a new study monitoring GM volunteers within and around fields cropped with potato EH92-527-1 in 2010. The EFSA GMO Panel identified flaws in the study and therefore makes recommendations to the applicant to improve the study design.
However, from the overall dataset submitted by the applicant in its 2011 monitoring report, the EFSA GMO Panel did not identify any adverse effects on the environment or human and animal health due to potato EH92-527-1 cultivation. The outcomes of this 2011 monitoring report do not invalidate the conclusions of the EFSA GMO Panel’s previous opinions on potato EH92-527-1.