Farming News - No end to EU stalemate over GM maize licenses

No end to EU stalemate over GM maize licenses

12 Jun 2013
Frontdesk / Arable


In Europe, the deadlock over approvals of new crops continued on Monday. EU officials in the Standing Committee on Food Chain and Animal Health failed to reach an agreement over the approval of three genetically modified maize varieties for import into Europe, for use in food and feed.


The continued stalemate means that the decision will now be passed to an appeals committee, and thence to the European Commission, if the committee remains hung.


Two of the thee crops are deeply controversial 'stacked' varieties developed by Monsanto and Dow AgroSciences, which have been engineered to resist insect pests as well as well as tolerating applications of a number of herbicides.  


The third licensing application is for Monsanto's MON810 maize, the only crop licensed for cultivation in the bloc at this time; so far, the renewal process for this GM maize variety has dragged on since 2007. The current approval debate over MON810 is related to presence of its pollen in honey, which new EU laws dictate must be authorised and labelled if it is approved.  


Although EU consumers and many governments oppose the crops, over 50 GM varieties have been cleared for import into the bloc, mostly for use in animal feed. Monsanto announced at the beginning of the month that the company would not seek approval for more GM varieties in Europe or lobby for their acceptance given the current climate.


Although Monsanto's maize is grown in five countries in the EU, the crop is banned in eleven of the 27 Member States.