BRUSSELS (AFP) — European regulators authorised on Wednesday
the import of six types of genetically-modified maize for use
in animal feed after governments were deadlocked over whether
to ban or approve them.
The European Union has been divided for years over genetically-modified
foods and the European Commission has proposed new rules aiming
to break an impasse that has severely limited the cultivation
of such crops.
Agriculture ministers meeting last month in Luxembourg were
unable to reach a qualified majority on maize from US biotech
firms Monsanto and Pioneer, and Swiss company Syngenta to be
used for feeding animals, not cultivation.
Under European Union rules, the decision was passed on to the
European Commission, which gave the six maize types the green
light because they were scientifically-sound, a commission spokesman
Two weeks ago, the EU's executive arm proposed new rules that
would give individual EU states the ultimate power to ban or
grow genetically-modified crops.
“One of the reasons that the commission came up with
its proposals a few weeks ago to change the whole system was
to get past the deadlock,” Roger Waite, a commission spokesman
for agriculture, told a news briefing.
“The hope is that the new rules that will apply will
get past this problem about member states that like GMOs (genetically-modified
organisms) and those that don't like GMOs,” Waite said.
The authorizations for the maize that won approval for animal
feed on Wednesday are valid for 10 years. One of them, Syngenta's
Bt11 maize, was up for renewal while the five others were new