EFSA okays GM bacteria as feed supplement

French Ajinomoto Eurolysine SAS, part of the world leading producer of amino acids by fermentation, has received a positive safety assessment from the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) for use of freeze-dried genetically modified E. coli bacteria as a feedstuff supplement.

There are no risks for human and animal health or the environment from this biomass regarding the genetic modification of the strain, the EFSA Panel on Additives and Products or Substances used in Animal Feed (FEEDAP) concluded. According to the panel, the E.coli strain PT73, which was engineered to overproduce the essential amino acid threonine by Ajinomoto, may be used as a feed material for pigs, ruminants and salmonids.

The heat-inactivated  gram-negative GM bacterial strain does not contain any full-length antibiotic resistance genes or other sequences of concern (EJ, doi: 10.2903/j.efsa.2017.4936). However, the panel said that toxicological data indicate effects of PT73 on blood coagulation and liver, which the EFSA considers to be adverse. As a consequence, the panel did not conclude on the safety for the consumer of products derived from animals receiving feed containing PT73. Based on data analyses, the FEEDAP panel recommends a daily supplementation of feed dry matter with 8% for dairy cows, 10% PT73 for fattening of pigs and 13% PT73 for salmonids as safe.

PT73 should be considered as a potential skin and respiratory sensitiser. Moreover, any exposure to dust from the product via the inhalation route should be considered a serious risk. The FEEDAP Panel also considered that substitution of PT73 for other protein-rich feed materials will not adversely affect the environment.

-Published in European Biotechnology.  See original article link here