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Parliamentary questions
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15 October 2019
Question for written answer E-003295-19
to the Commission
Rule 138
Emmanuel Maurel (GUE/NGL)

 Subject:  Impact assessments and precautionary measures relating to the EU-Mercosur free trade agreement concerning the mutation of transgenic insects in Brazil
 Answer in writing 

In an attempt to eliminate outbreaks of yellow fever, Zika virus, dengue fever, chikungunya and malaria, the Brazilian authorities have released several hundred thousand genetically modified mosquitoes with the aim of mass-sterilising virus-transmitting insects.

A study published in science journal Nature on 10 September 2019 reports that transgenic mosquitoes may be passing on genes to the natural native species. After being genetically modified in the laboratory, mosquitoes thought to be sterile have successfully reproduced and created hybrid offspring.

This raises a number of questions. How do we control genetically modified organisms once they have been released into the wild? Is there a risk that these new hybrid species will develop resistance in the wild? Can these transgenic mosquitoes develop an increased resistance to insecticides? Is there a risk of proliferation? Are there any risks for humans?

In regard to the free trade agreement with Mercosur, in which Brazil plays a key role, and following this unexpected reproduction of genetically modified mosquitoes, what impact assessments will the Commission carry out to ensure precautionary measures are put into place?

Original language of question: FR 
Last updated: 29 October 2019Legal notice