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2-Plants: EU experts fail to agree on latest GMO approval

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

TITLE:  EU experts fail to agree on latest GMO approval
SOURCE: Reuters
DATE:   20 Sep 2005

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EU experts fail to agree on latest GMO approval

BRUSSELS - EU environment experts failed to agree on authorising imports
of a genetically modified (GMO) maize hybrid on Monday, again exposing
the bloc's deep-seated divisions over biotech foods, an official said on

Representatives of 12 member states voted against authorisation, seven
were in favour, five abstained and one member state was absent from the
vote, the official said. It was not immediately clear how each member
states voted.

The requested use for the maize, engineered by US biotech giant Monsanto,
was for use in industrial processing.

The experts' failure to reach a consensus opinion either to approve the
maize or reject it means that the matter will now be passed to EU
ministers for a decision.

If the ministers also fail to agree, after a period of three months, the
European Commission gains the legal power to issue an approval - the
method that has been used in the EU four times since May 2004 to approve
new GMO products for import.

Producing hybrid maize involves making separate lines that are then
crossed to make a hybrid seed, allowing for desirable traits to be
selected to enhance agricultural performance.

The maize is a cross between two distinct maize types known as MON 863,
which can provide plant protection against certain pests, specifically
corn rootworm, and MON 810, which is resistant to other pests such as
caterpillars and certain worms.


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