Such second-generation GM crops are associated with novel biosafety risks
The African Centre for Biodiversity (ACB) warns in a new report that the South African government has received an application for the commodity clearance (import for food, feed and processing) of a ‘multi-stacked variety’ of genetically modified (GM) maize – MON87427 × MON89034 × MIR162 × MON87411, which represents the entry of the second generation of GMOs in South Africa.
Unlike standard first-generation GMOs, this GM maize variety utilises what is termed the RNA interference (RNAi) pathway.
Such GMOs are the latest in the GM push on the wider African continent. Indeed, Nigeria has recently received an application for the field trials of a GM cassava variety that uses RNAi to reduce the amount of starch in cassava, with the purported aim of preventing starch breakdown during storage.
Such second-generation GM crops are associated with novel biosafety risks, which need to be addressed by updating risk assessment protocols to incorporate appropriate experiments. Biosafety testing of MON87411 has been woefully inadequate to date, and has relied on assumptions of safety, while ignoring the latest scientific understanding of the far-reaching effects of RNA (ribonucleic acid) interference, which is now thought to cross species and even kingdom barriers.
Source: African Centre for Biodiversity
New report: https://acbio.org.za/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/RNA-GMOs.pdf