"Contrary to recent claims, the data published in the paper by Podevin andf du Jardin do not represent a new discovery of a viral gene nor do they indicate safety concerns in previously evaluated GMOs," said Professor Joe Perry, Chair of the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) GMO Panel.
"This viral gene belongs to a plant virus that cannot infect animals or humans. Moreover, this virus naturally infects many conventional plants with no recorded health effects."
Professor Perry continued: "All GMO applications containing the inserted fragment of the viral gene in question, which have been assessed by the EFSA Panel since its creation in 2002, have included a detailed analysis of the inserted sequence."
"In our assessments, we did not identify any safety concerns in relation to the sequence of the inserted fragment of the viral gene and its potential for unintended effects."
"We have been aware of this work, written by colleagues, for months. The potential for unintended effects is routinely taken into account during all our risk assessments."
"This is why there is an extensive set of data required to assess GM crops for potential unintended effects. These data requirements include, inter alia, an extensive compositional analysis and agronomic data."
Perry finished by reminding that "the virus concerned is a plant virus, not a human virus, with no documented adverse effect on human health, but, on the contrary, with a history of safe use in food; it infects many plants with no recorded health effects on humans."