The European Commission approved genetically modified (GMO) maize type MIR604 from Syngenta.
This could mean that US imports of soymeal and soybeans for animal feed can carry on after a standstill since this summer, when more than 200,000 tonnes were refused entry because they contained traces of unapproved GMOs.
The European Union has a zero-tolerance policy on unauthorised GMOs. However, MIR604 maize received a positive safety assessment from the European Food Safety Authority and underwent the full authorisation procedure set up in the EU legislation.
The clearance should ease short-term concerns over the supply of affordable vegetable proteins used by livestock farms, said Alexander Doering, secretary general of European feed manufacturers' association Fefac. "We expect imports to resume now. Basically from now on, imports from North America such as soybean products and also maize products will be considered legal in EU territory," Doering said. However, he said the EU's zero-tolerance policy still created legal uncertainty.
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