Task Force 9 raises awareness of, and generates dialogue on, the scientific principles underlying safety assessments of stacked event products. Through its efforts, best practices for when and how to conduct safety assessments of stacked event products are being developed and shared around the globe.
Overview of Accomplishments
Task Force 9 addressed the two major areas of consideration related to the scientifically appropriate approaches to the safety assessment of stacked event products: genomic stability and trait interaction. Both were published as “Editor’s Choice” articles in Plant Physiology.1,2 Sharing of the science related to stacked events with international scientists has taken place with conference presentations in Mexico and the USA, and workshops in Southeast Asia, Canada, and in France at the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development headquarters in Paris. IFBiC will continue outreach efforts on this important topic.
The Importance of Stacked Events
Agricultural biotechnology products that are a combination of two or more approved events through conventional breeding are rapidly being brought to market.3 Such products are referred to as “combined trait/event” or “stacked event” products. The combination of multiple traits in a single variety provides more options to growers, producers, and ultimately consumers.
Although stacked event products are entering global markets with increasing frequency, there are still many countries that have not yet determined the need to regulate or have not yet established the processes to evaluate these products. In countries with existing regulations, the approaches and data requirements for assessing the safety of stacked event products are not harmonized and are often non-prescriptive. The Task Force 9 publications address the knowledge gaps around the fundamental questions for when and how the safety of combined event products should best be assessed.
Task Force Members
Diana Arias, BASF
Wim Broothaerts, Pioneer Overseas Corp
Claire Halpin, University of Dundee, UK
Curt Hannah, University of Florida
Penny Hunst, Bayer CropScience
Joseph Jez, Washington University, St. Louis
John Kough, US EPA
Catherine Kramer, Syngenta Biotechnology
Linda Lahman, Monsanto (Vice Chair)
Greg Orr, Dow AgroSciences
Wayne Parrott, University of Georgia
Henry-York Steiner, Syngenta Biotechnology
Lynne Underhill, Health Canada
Natalie Weber, Pioneer/DuPont (Chair)
- Weber et al. (2012) Crop Genome Plasticity and Its Relevance to Food and Feed Safety of Genetically Engineered Breeding Stacks. Plant Physiol 160: 1842–1853.
- Steiner et al. (2013) Evaluating the Potential for Adverse Interactions within Genetically Engineered Breeding Stacks. Plant Physiol 161:1587–1594.
- James, Clive. (2010) Global Status of Commercialized Biotech/GM Crops: 2010. ISAAA Brief No. 42. ISAAA: Ithaca, NY.