The 1507 GM maize is genetically modified to produce a pesticide toxin known as Bt  and to withstand a herbicide known as glufosinate ammonium. The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) recognised in 2011 that the Bt toxin could be harmful to butterflies and moths . EFSA has not assessed risks linked to 1507’s tolerance to herbicides in accordance with EU requirements, but only recommended monitoring of impacts after its release into the environment.
Under EU law on GM crops, the EFSA must assess “possible effects on biodiversity and non-target organisms which any individual [GM herbicide-tolerant] crop may cause due to the change in agricultural practices (including those due to different herbicide uses)” (emphasis in original text) .
In the United States and other countries, Pioneer markets 1507 as a glufosinate-tolerant crop , but has mostly dismissed the importance of this trait in Europe, arguing that it is only a by-product of the genetic engineering process.
Greenpeace EU agriculture policy director Marco Contiero said: “Blindly rubber-stamping this GM maize would be a reckless decision by the Commission, putting biotech companies ahead of public safety. The EU food safety authority has not properly assessed risks associated with the GM maize’s herbicide tolerance. Given its potential harm and the massive gaps in safety testing, Commissioners should reject it. The commercial flop of GM crop cultivation in Europe shows that consumers and farmers do not need it and do not want it.”
On 26 September 2013, the General Court of the European Union criticised the Commission for an “undue delay” in the process to authorise or reject 1507, following a complaint by Pioneer . The ruling does not prevent the Commission from re-considering its position and deciding not to recommend the authorisation of the GM maize. This recommendation will then go to EU governments who will make the final decision.
The last GM crop authorised for cultivation in the EU was an antibiotic-resistant GM potato in 2010. The crop was a commercial failure and BASF decided to withdraw it from the market. Since then, BASF and Monsanto have withdrawn all EU applications for GM crops for cultivation, except for Monsanto’s MON810 maize, the only crop that is still grown in the EU (mostly in Spain).
Marco Contiero - Greenpeace EU agriculture policy director: +32 (0)477 777034,
Greenpeace EU press desk: +32 (0)2 274 1911,
 Hardly any studies have been performed on the toxicity of the particular type of Bt produced by 1507 (Cry1F) for butterflies and moths. The models used by EFSA to predict exposure of vulnerable organisms contain many uncertainties. Lang, A & Otto, M. (2010), A synthesis of laboratory and field studies on the effects of transgenic Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) maize on non-target Lepidoptera: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1570-7458.2010.00981.x/abstract
Lang, A., Brunzel, S., Dolek, M., Otto, M. and Theißen (2011), Modelling in the light of uncertainty of key parameters: a call to exercise caution in field predictions of Bt‐maize effects, Proceedings of the Royal Society: http://rspb.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/278/1708/980.full
Holst, N. Lang, A. Lövei, G. & Otto, M. (2013), Increased mortality is predicted of Inachis io larvae caused by Bt-maize pollen in European farmland: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0304380012005315
 European Commission document on the environmental risk assessment of herbicide-tolerant plants: www.greenpeace.org/eu-unit/en/Publications/2013/Environmental-risk-assessment-of-herbicide-tolerant-plants/
 Dow AgroSciences (2007): TC1507, Insect-Protected Maize (Corn), Technical Bulletin. http://msdssearch.dow.com/PublishedLiteratureDAS/dh_00a4/0901b803800a4d0c.pdf?filepath=herculex/pdfs/noreg/010-16438.pdf&fromPage=GetDoc
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