News last update:7 Aug 2012

EU: no extra checks on US biotech corn

EU nations voted Tuesday to stand down extra checks for the unauthorized Bt10 strain of genetically modified corn in US imports of corn gluten animal feed and brewers' grain, saying they were no longer necessary.

The EU head office raised the alarm in April 2005 after discovering that animal feed imported from the United States containing the Bt10 had made its way to EU countries between 2001 and 2004. Syngenta, the company responsible for developing the strain acknowledged it had accidentally sold Bt10 to US farmers and the EU imposed a ban on US corn gluten imports suspected of containing the strain. The move forced US exporters to certify that their corn was free of the biotech variety.

Washington called the EU measure an overreaction and said the biotech product was neither a health nor an environmental hazard. European nations, however, have been particularly wary of allowing the marketing of genetically modified food and animal feed following an array of food scandals over the past decade.

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