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: Vermicompost leachate improves tomato seedling growth

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

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

Vermicompost leachate improves tomato seedling growth

Nov 21, 2014

Worldwide, drought conditions, extreme temperatures, and high soil saline content all have negative effects on tomato crops. These natural processes reduce soil nutrient content and lifespan, result in reduced plant growth ...

Plant immunity comes at a price

Nov 21, 2014

Plants are under permanent attack by a multitude of pathogens. To win the battle against fungi, bacteria, viruses and other pathogens, they have developed a complex and effective immune system. And just as ...

Evolution: The genetic connivances of digits and genitals

Nov 20, 2014

During the development of mammals, the growth and organization of digits are orchestrated by Hox genes, which are activated very early in precise regions of the embryo. These "architect genes" are themselves regulated by ...

Surrogate sushi: Japan biotech for bluefin tuna

Nov 20, 2014

Of all the overfished fish in the seas, luscious, fatty bluefin tuna are among the most threatened. Marine scientist Goro Yamazaki, who is known in this seaside community as "Young Mr. Fish," is working to ...

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.