Herbicide-tolerant and insect-protected corn event MZIR098

Herbicide-tolerant and insect-protected corn event MZIR098

In 2015, Health Canada received a submission to allow the sale of corn event MZIR098 which has been genetically modified to be herbicide-tolerant and insect-protected.  In order to determine whether the corn could be sold in Canada as food, the scientists at Health Canada conducted a scientific assessment that ensured the corn is safe for consumption, still has all its nutritional value and therefore does not differ from other corn available on the market. Our scientists also needed to assess how the corn was developed and whether it can be toxic or cause allergic reactions.

MZIR098 corn was approved for sale in Canada.  MZIR098 corn expresses the insecticidal proteins eCry3.1Ab and mCry3A which are active against western corn rootworm and other related pests of corn.  MZIR098 corn also expresses the PAT protein which makes it tolerant to glufosinate-ammonium herbicides.

Scientists with expertise in molecular biology, microbiology, toxicology, chemistry and nutrition conducted a thorough analysis of the data and the protocols provided by the applicant to ensure the validity of the results.

Following this assessment, it was determined that the changes made to this corn did not pose a greater risk to human health than corn currently available on the Canadian market. In addition, Health Canada also concluded that MZIR098 corn would have no impact on allergies, and that there are no differences in the nutritional value of MZIR098 corn compared to other corn varieties available for consumption.

Health Canada's assessment of MZIR098 corn was conducted according to the Guidelines for the Safety Assessment of Novel Foods.  The approach taken by Health Canada in the safety assessment of GM foods is based upon scientific principles developed through expert international consultation over the last 20 years with agencies such as the World Health Organization (WHO), the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), and the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). The approach taken by Canada is currently applied by regulatory agencies around the world in countries such as the European Union, Australia/New Zealand, Japan, and the United States.

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