Genetically modified maize not approved by the EU found in cat food


<div>Evira’s Feed Control found, on 2.5.2007, unapproved genetically modified maize DAS-59122-7 (Herculex®) in two marketing control samples taken as spot checks. The examined cat foods are Nutro Choice Adult Chicken (batch identifier: 00:42 03 E 06, CAPFD0024; best before date: 27.5.08) and Nutro Choice Adult Indoor (batch identifier: 02:21 03 A 07 CAR, DAPFD0024; best before date 24.5.08). The cat foods are manufactured in the US and the importer is Akvaario Piekkala Oy. In addition to the maize in question five genetically modified maize events approved by the EU were found, and one genetically modified soy variety. A marketing ban has been placed on the cat foods and Evira requires that they be withdrawn without delay. </div>

Evira has informed the other member states and the EU Commission about the issue via the Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed (RASFF). So far, no other EU member states have reported having found the maize in question in pet food, except that the Netherlands have reported that 59122 maize has been found in maize gluten.

Genetically modified feed material that has been approved by the EU can be used in feeds if it is mentioned on the product information label. With the examined feeds there was no mention of genetic modification. Genetically modified material unauthorized by the EU is not permitted in the feeds. Feed Control is monitoring the situation on the market in accordance with the monitoring plan by taking samples for spot checking.

Maize feeds imported from the US are being monitored for 59122 maize
The genetically modified maize 59122 that is still not approved by the EU was grown in the US for the first time in 2006, so there is a risk that it may appear amongst ordinary maize. With every batch of maize gluten or distiller’s grains that has arrived in Europe from the US since 15.10.2006, a certificate has had to be attached that shows that the batch does not contain the maize variety in question. The matter was agreed upon between the Commission, the EU member states and the US maize processing industry. As to complete feeds such as pet foods, the manufacturer of the feed is responsible for fulfilling the requirements set by the legislation.

The EU approval is not completed
EU approval for the genetically modified 59122 maize has been sought for all food and feed purposes, for importing and processing but not for cultivation. The authorization process is not yet completed. The genetically modified maize in question has been developed to be resistant to certain coleopteran pests, e.g. the larvae of the western corn rootworm and to tolerate herbicides that contain glufosinate. In their opinion, the EFSA GMO Panel considers that this maize is, as to its effect on people, animals and the environment as safe as comparable common maize varieties. In field testing there have not either been any signs of unexpected changes in cultivation characteristics or phenotype. The 59122 maize is approved in e.g. the US, Australia and New Zealand and an application for authorization is being processed in several other countries.

For more information, please contact:
Senior Officer Tiina Seppälä, tel. +359 20 77 25228
Senior Officer Raili Laine, tel. +358 20 77 25207


More information on the subject: 
Evira’s press release 10.4.2007: An opinion of EFSA on genetically modified maize has been published

The scientific opinion of EFSA:


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