GENET archive


6-Regulation: Austria bans Aventis' gene-modified maize

----------------------------- GENET-news -----------------------------

TITLE:  Austria bans Aventis' gene-modified maize
SOURCE: Reuters
DATE:   April 14, 2000

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Austria bans Aventis' gene-modified maize

Austria on Thursday banned imports of Aventis' genetically-modified 
maize on the grounds there were no available studies on the long-term 
impact the crop would have on the environment. "Austria is no 
laboratory and it is of utmost concern that we maintain Austria as a 
provider of produce of the highest quality for the whole European 
market," said Elisabeth Sickl, minister in charge of food safety and 

Greenpeace welcomed the ban on French group Aventis' Zea Mays L. T25 
and urged the minister to forbid all problematic genetically altered 
plants. "This import ban can only be seen as a first step," 
Greenpeace's Susanne Fromwald said, cautioning that Europe may soon 
be swamped by more gene licences.

The European Parliament on Wednesday rejected amendments to laws 
governing genetically modified crops, which would have introduced 
liability clauses on producers and measures to stop "gene pollution". 
Proponents of the high-tech crops say altering the genetic makeup of 
a crop to increase resistance to pests and disease does not pose a 
threat to human health nor the environment. But opponents say there 
are no long-term scientific studies to support this and that in 
practice, the crops are just engineered to tolerate chemicals.


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