In 2004, several member states raised objections regarding the maize's allergenicity and toxicity, the risk of accidental spillage, the presence of an antibiotic resistance marker gene
and its detectability.
It also has the antibiotic resistance marker genes
for streptomycin and spectinomycin.
The British Medical Association recommended that ``there should be a ban on the use of antibiotic resistance marker genes
in GM food.''
Foreign genes are frequently spliced together using antibiotic resistance marker genes
, which some fear may recombine with bacteria in the environment or in people or animals that eat such food.
GM constructs consist predominantly of bacterial and viral genetic material as well as antibiotic resistance marker genes
. To persist in ignoring horizontal gene transfer in risk assessment not only violates the precautionary principle, it violates all the tenets of sound science and responsible governance.
These include amendments on:- the need to submit the appropriate Proposals for the implementation of the Biosafety Protocol when ratified;- transmission of new information to the public and possibilities of the public to comment;- the importance of presenting proposals for legislation on a horizontal liability regime for environmental damage by 2001;- the phase-out of antibiotic resistance marker genes
by 2005;- obligations to ensure that the implications of gene transfer are accurately assessed on a case-by-case basis.The Commission welcomes the fact that Parliament chose to refrain from introducing rules on environmental liability, which are specific to GMOs.
According to the Committee, there is presently no evidence that antibiotic resistance marker genes
have been transmitted from genetically-modified plants to micro-organisms.