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EU halts GM maize import: European Commission fails in 7th attempt

(Monday, July 26, 2004 -- CropChoice news) -- Specterzine:EU agriculture ministers today failed to support the European Commission's proposals to allow the import into the EU of a genetically modified (GM) maize made by the US company Monsanto. This is the seventh time in a row that the Commission has failed to win support from the member states for a GM product.

The maize, called NK603, has been engineered to resist Monsanto's own herbicide, RoundUp. Last month the Commission failed to get the majority it needed for the NK603 to be used as animal feed. This week's vote was for its use as a human food. However, after it became clear that there would be no qualified majority there was no official vote and so the position of individual countries is unclear.

The maize has been subject to no analysis of the possible long-term effects on human and animal health or of its effects on vulnerable groups such as the very young, the very old, pregnant women or people who, for reasons of culture or personal eccentricity, consume large amounts of maize. Approval of the maize would therefore be in breach of the EU's own regulations.

Responding to the decision, campaigner Adrian Bebb of Friends of the Earth Europe (FoEE) said:
"The European Commission has now failed seven times in a row to get enough support to approve new genetically modified foods. Their position is increasingly untenable and clearly incompatible with the wishes of the citizens and Governments of Europe. It is time that they put the welfare of the European public before the business interests of the biotechnology industry."

Source: http://www.spectrezine.org/weeklynewsreview/wnr25,07,04.htm