Informace o publikaci

Science for policy: assessing genetically modified crops in the EU



Rok publikování 2017
Druh Článek ve sborníku
Konference Conference Proceedings of the STS Conference Graz 2017 on “Critical Issues in Science, Technology and Society Studies”
Fakulta / Pracoviště MU

Fakulta sociálních studií

Klíčová slova EFSA; GMO; risk assessment; non-target organisms; science for policy
Popis The authorisation process of applications for marketing of genetically modified (GM) crops in the European Union (EU) is considered as one of the strictest in the world, which is illustrated by current cultivation of only one GM crop. We are repeatedly assured about its safety by a scientific body of the EU, the GMO Panel of the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA). However, the quality and ethics of science for policy in the field of GMOs has been questioned as well as the EFSA practices. This became of particular interest when the new regulatory framework for GM crops reserved the sovereignty in assessing risks for human and animal health for the EFSA. The aim of this study is to contribute to the understanding of the science–policy interface by assessing the quality and use of scientific studies focused on environmental risk assessment of GM maize MON810. In this study the “Reliability Rating and Reflective Questioning” method introduced by F. Wickson (2009) is employed, a framework in which risk assessment can be exposed to a type of extended review incorporating both natural and social science quality criteria and modes of reflection. The first step consists of a critical review of scientific studies used in the GMO Panel’s Scientific Opinion on the Application for renewal of authorisation of the MON810 maize from the year 2009. I focus on the environmental risk assessment, specifically the Opinion section “Interactions between the GM plant and non-target organisms”. Relevant additional studies available before the Opinion issuing are also included. The next step is to assess how was the scientific information used in the Opinion. Finally, the adequacy and appropriateness of the Panel’s conclusions is evaluated. The preliminary results are based on the examination of honeybees’ and earthworms’ studies, two out of ten groups of non-target organisms addressed in the Opinion. Twenty one scientific works are cited in these two sections, additional ones relevant to the subject were revealed through literature survey. The scrutiny of the Opinion showed several shortcomings in the use of employed studies: I) studies are often misquoted (e.g. incorrectly cited to support certain statements or reduce the aim of the study to a certain area where no negative effects were observed), II) the assumptions or uncertainties embedded in the studies are not communicated, III) there is generally lack of critique, including cases that should have been reflected (e.g. inconsistencies, conflict of interests), in rare cases when critique is conducted, it is predominantly inappropriate, IV) results of studies are selectively used: the pattern of omitting negative effects and further research requirements or suggestions is evident. Although the scientific information stems from generally reliable resources and the reliability of the cited studies is relatively high, the identified shortcomings limit conclusions of the Panel. Therefore, I assess the conclusion that “there is no evidence to indicate that the placing of maize MON810 and derived products on the market is likely to cause adverse effects on [honeybees/earthworms] in the context of its proposed use” as inadequate.
Související projekty:

Používáte starou verzi internetového prohlížeče. Doporučujeme aktualizovat Váš prohlížeč na nejnovější verzi.

Další info