EU freezes approval of GM crops to 2014

Jan 22, 2013
Genetically modified corn cobs are seen at a field, west of Cairo, on September 21, 2008. The European Commission has decided to freeze the approval process for genetically modified food crops through the end of its mandate next year while it works towards an agreement with EU member states.

The European Commission has decided to freeze the approval process for genetically modified food crops through the end of its mandate next year while it works towards an agreement with EU member states.

"The Commission, if it wants, could launch a procedure to authorise the farming of one GM soya and six corn strains... but it won't do so," said Frederic Vincent, a spokesman for Health Commisioner Tonio Borg.

"The authorisations for farming are frozen," he added.

Vincent said the priority of Borg, who only recently took up the post of health commissioner, was to relaunch discussions with member states.

The Commission's approval of has poisoned relations with a number of the 27 EU members.

Eight countries—Austria, Bulgaria, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Luxembourg and Poland—have adopted provisions that allow them to block the cultivation of GM crops on their territory.

chief Jose Manuel Barroso has not forced the countries to lift their .

In 14 years, the EU has approved the cultivation of just two types of genetically altered for humans, the Amflora potato developed by German group and MON810 maize developed by global seeds giant Monsanto.

The Amflora potato was a commercial flop, while the renewal of the authorisation of MON810 has been dragging along since 2007.

Vincent said renewal of MON810 was being held up by the Commission's freeze.

However the MON810 can continue to be cultivated in states which allow it until the Commission takes a decision.

Some 50 different genetically modified crops for animal consumption have been approved for use in the EU.

Explore further: Why GM food is so hard to sell to a wary public

Related Stories

EU asks citizens to join debate on GM food

Jan 15, 2013

The European Union on Tuesday took the debate about genetically modified crops to the public with a survey asking citizens to share their thoughts on organic farming.

Poland bans cultivation of GM maize, potatoes

Jan 02, 2013

Poland on Wednesday imposed new bans on the cultivation of certain genetically modified strains of maize and potatoes, a day after an EU required green light for GM crops took effect.

GMO maize strain safe: EU food agency

Jun 30, 2009

A genetically modified strain of maize, banned in some EU countries, poses no risk to health or the environment, the European Food Safety Authority declared Tuesday.

EU effort to end GM crop deadlock meets resistance

Jul 13, 2010

The European Commission sought Tuesday to end a deadlock blocking the growth of genetically modified crops in Europe, proposing to give countries the freedom to ban the controversial foods.

EU divided over GM crops

Sep 27, 2010

A controversial EU bid to allow member states to make their own decisions on whether or not to ban GM crops hit a fresh snag on Monday when Italy and France dug in their heels against the move.

Recommended for you

Study on pesticides in lab rat feed causes a stir

14 hours ago

French scientists published evidence Thursday of pesticide contamination of lab rat feed which they said discredited historic toxicity studies, though commentators questioned the analysis.

International consortium to study plant fertility evolution

17 hours ago

Mark Johnson, associate professor of biology, has joined a consortium of seven other researchers in four European countries to develop the fullest understanding yet of how fertilization evolved in flowering plants. The research, ...

Making the biofuels process safer for microbes

19 hours ago

A team of investigators at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and Michigan State University have created a process for making the work environment less toxic—literally—for the organisms that do the heavy ...

Why GM food is so hard to sell to a wary public

20 hours ago

Whether commanding the attention of rock star Neil Young or apparently being supported by the former head of Greenpeace, genetically modified food is almost always in the news – and often in a negative ...

The hidden treasure in RNA-seq

Jul 01, 2015

Michael Stadler and his team at the Friedrich Miescher institute for Biomedical Research (FMI) have developed a novel computational approach to analyze RNA-seq data. By comparing intronic and exonic RNA reads, ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.