Italy asks EU to halt GM maize cultivation

Apr 04, 2013
"MON 810", a variety of genetically modified maize (corn) developed by Monsanto Company is pictured during an action by anti-GMO activists calling for its ban on January 23, 2012 at a Monsanto storehouse in Trebes near Carcassonne, southern France.

The Italian government has asked the European Commission not to renew authorisation of a key genetically-modified corn, according to a letter seen by AFP on Thursday.

The product is US agri-giant Monsanto's MON 810 maize, one of only two GM products cleared to be grown in Europe along with German conglomerate 's Amflora potato.

Renewal of the maize licence is currently on hold due to hostility or reticence by a string of European Union states.

Eight countries—Austria, Bulgaria, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Luxembourg and Poland—have banned on their soil.

The Rome request calls on Brussels to "suspend the authorisation of the cultivation of MON 810 maize seeds across all ," citing detailed "environmental risks."

Brussels cleared MON 810 in 1998 for 10 years and Monsanto submitted a request in 2007 for it to be extended but the process has been effectively frozen.

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