Biosicherheit & Nachhaltigkeit




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2.3.3  Restrictions
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 Foods derived from genetically modified organisms and detection methods
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2.3.5  Transgenic organisms in China

2.3.4 Commercially available products

Even though a genetically engineered product has been approved by a given responsible authority, it may not necessarily be grown on a large scale or be available commercially. Sometimes there may be a delay in the exploitation of an approved product, for reasons which are not always apparent. For example the herbicide-tolerant tobacco plant from Seita which received unrestricted approval according to directive 90/220/EEC in 1994 has not yet been grown on large scale. There has not even been an application for the registration of the use of the respective herbicide on this variety according to the EC directive 91/414/EEC. Another example is the genetically engineered tomato from DNA Plant Technology. This was test-marketed in 1995 but since then it has been withdrawn from the market due to a patent licence dispute.

Company information from Calgene stated that the following genetically engineered crops were commercially available in the United States for the year 1995: squash (virus-resistant) from Seminis (formerly Asgrow), tomato (delayed fruit ripening) from DNA Plant Technology (test marketing), cotton (bromoxinyl-tolerant), rapeseed with increased laurate content (Calgene) and the Flavr Savr tomato (Calgene). According to a 1996 report, insect-resistant corn from CIBA-GEIGY (and Mycogen), as well as insect-resistant cotton and potatoes (both from Monsanto) had also entered the commercial market. Other additions to the 1996 list are herbicide-tolerant soybean from Monsanto (grown in the US) and herbicide-tolerant rapeseed from AgrEvo/Hoechst, grown in Canada.

Some data are summarised in  Acreage of genetically engineered crops in the United States and in Canada on the absolute acreage of genetically engineered crops and on how these numbers compare to the total acreage of the conventional and modified crops. In 1996, the genetically engineered soybean from Monsanto, grown on approximately 1,000,000 acres in the US, occupied 1-2 % of the total area devoted to soybean growth in North Amerika (within North America, soybean is predominantly grown in the US). Another some 375,000 acres were reportedly planted with the Roundup Ready soybean™ from Monsanto in Argentina (James and Krattiger, 1996) in 1996. In contrast, the 2,000,000 acres (approx. 800,000 hectare) used for growing genetically engineered cotton in 1996, represents almost 14 % of the total US cotton production. On the opposite end, the EC approved herbicide-tolerant rapeseed from Plant Genetic Systems is reportedly grown on only 25-50 acres (10-20 hectares) for seed production (Communication AgrEvo, Germany).

Tomato paste, produced from genetically engineered tomatoes from Zeneca in the US, has been commercially available in the United Kingdom since 1996, distributed by Sainburry's and Safeway supermarkets. Approximately 900,000 cans were sold in 1996 (Communication from Zeneca, United Kingdom), implying that a considerable percentage of the British population has bought (and probably consumed) this tomato paste. Further products produced from these genetically engineered tomatoes from Zeneca have only been available in small quantities as samples (e.g. ketchup) and have not been commercially sold. For 1997, Zeneca plans to launch this tomato (or products thereof) on the US market.

© Copyright Zentrum BATS: Kontakt Legal Advisor: Advokatur Prudentia-Law Veröffentlichungsdatum: 1997-02-08

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