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EU Commission: Import approval for six GM maize lines

(28 July 2010) The EU Commission issued import approvals on 28.07.2010 for six more genetically modified (GM) maize lines. As generally occurs, preceding ballots in the Standing Committee and in the EU Council of Ministers did not result in the required qualified majority.

The issued clearances encompass the import of the six GM maize lines and their use as food and feed but exclude their cultivation in the EU. This includes, furthermore, the ‘unintentional, technically unavoidable’ presence of related GM material in other imported agricultural commodities.

The lines in question are two events each from the companies Pioneer (1507x59122, 59122x1507xNK603), Monsanto (MON88017xMON810, MON89034xNK603) and Syngenta (Bt11xGA21, Bt11). The crops are resistant to various pests, such as the European corn borer and the corn rootworm. Five of the six lines also are resistant to herbicides. The hybrids, drawn from various GM maize lines, are cultivated in the USA and Canada as well as in parts of South America. Similarly, approval was issued for products made from Bt11 maize, for which Syngenta had applied for renewal.

After inconclusive ballots in the Council of Ministers, the EU Commission was obliged under current European law to implement the decision it previously had recommended. Since all six GM maize lines fulfil the legal requirements valid in the EU, approval had to be given.

After conclusion of the scientific safety assessments, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) classified all GM maize lines, and the food and feed produced thereof, to be as safe as comparable conventional products.

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