News last update:6 Aug 2012

Maize variety GMOs for EU Clearance

Four genetically modified products are closer to being cleared for use in the European Union. This comes after biotech experts from across the 27-nation bloc reached a stalemate over whether to approve the products.

The European Commission, the EU's executive arm, made a proposition to authorise three new GMO maize varieties, which includes a modified potato. The proposal comes after food safety experts found that the products posed no threat to human or animal health or to the environment.

However, there has been suspicion of GMOs among a key number of EU member governments, which has led to political deadlock. It could mean the final decision over the approval will eventually find its way back to the commission.

The three types of maize produced by US biotech firm Monsanto (MON) have been created through a combination of genetically changed varieties that have already been approved for use in the EU. The proposal is to permit them for food and animal feed but not for cultivation.

The high starch potato, produced by Germany's BASF AG (BAS.XE), would be used mainly for industrial starch production with by-products from the process used in animal feed.

EU agriculture ministers now have three months to try to reach common ground, after which the products will go back to the commission for adoption.


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