The European Commission announced that it has approved a biotech corn product for food, feed, import and processing jointly developed by DuPont business Pioneer Hi-Bred and Dow AgroSciences LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Dow Chemical Company. Corn products containing the Herculex® RW protection trait stacked with Roundup Ready® Corn 2 (also known as 59122/NK603) are now permitted for import into the European Union (EU).
“We are encouraged by this approval and look forward to continued progress of biotech approvals in the EU,” said Pioneer Hi-Bred President Paul E. Schickler. “We urge the Commission and EU Member States to similarly approve biotech crops for cultivation so Europe’s farmers have access to the same technologies as other farmers around the world.”
Products containing the stacked trait (59122/NK603) were assessed to be safe for use in food and feed by the EU’s own independent scientific authority, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), in December 2008, and already have been approved in eight countries around the world. Pending publication in the Official Journal in the coming days, this product now is authorized for import into the EU in accordance with EU regulations, including the appropriate labeling and traceability of the products and their derivatives.
Herculex® RW contains the Bt trait to provide an environmentally improved means of protecting corn plants against attacks by the corn rootworm by reducing the need to use insecticides. The Roundup Ready® Corn 2 gene allows growers to effectively and efficiently control weeds in their fields, allowing the corn plants to achieve their full yield potential.
“These approvals tell us that the EU recognizes both the benefits of our biotech products, the extensive health and safety research that supports their use – and the importance of a functioning regulatory approval process for food and feed authorizations to ensure that European livestock products have continued access to these products,” said Dow AgroSciences President and CEO Antonio Galindez.
The Herculex® RW, Roundup Ready® Corn 2 stack was developed from traditional breeding methods of two genetically modified corn lines (59122 maize and NK603 maize) and contains no new genetic modifications. Herculex® RW and Roundup Ready® Corn 2 were approved by the EU for food, feed, import and processing in October 2007 and March 2005, respectively.