EFSA has released all the data it holds on Monsanto’s controversial genetically modified maize variant NK603, in what it claims is a major transparency drive in the GM debate.

The data was published on the EFSA website today and contains files provided by Monsanto as part of the authorisation process and risk assessment for NK603.

NK603 made headlines last autumn, when a French study led by Professors Gilles-Eric Séralini linked the maize to tumours and premature death in rats.

EFSA subsequently found the Séralini study lacked “scientific quality”, but said today there was a high level of public interest in NK603 and it had therefore decided to publish all the data it has. “While the authority has already made available these data upon specific request on several occasions, any member of the public or scientific community will now be able to examine and utilise the full data sets used in this risk assessment,” EFSA added.

The publication of the NK603 data forms part of a wider EFSA initiative to increase transparency around its risk assessment processes. “Risk assessment is an evolving science, and EFSA is always willing to review its past work should new robust science bring a new perspective to any of the authority’s previous findings,” said EFSA executive director Catherine Geslain-Lanéelle.”