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APPROVAL: Biotech industry withdraws GM foods from the EU market

------------------------------- GENET-news -------------------------------
TITLE:  Biotech industry withdraws GM foods
SOURCE: Friends of the Earth Europe, Belgium
AUTHOR: Press Release
DATE:   20.03.2007

Biotech industry withdraws GM foods

Brussels, March 20th, 2007 - The European Union is today discussing the
official withdrawal by the biotech industry of five genetically modified
(GM) foods and crops, including the first GM crop that was ever grown in
Europe. [1] Friends of the Earth Europe has highlighted this as further
proof that GM crops are failing. [2]

Helen Holder, GMO campaigner for Friends of the Earth Europe said:
"There is no market for GM food and crops, and companies are even
withdrawing them from the market. European citizens want GM-free food
and EU leaders need to take the necessary steps to make this happen."

"These genetically modified foods should have never been allowed to be
grown in the first place, as no one knows the long term effects to both
people and the environment."

Bans by EU Member States on three of these five GM crops were central to
the transatlantic trade dispute in the World Trade Organisations (WTO)
which ended in 2006. The WTO ruled that counties did have the right to
prohibit GM crops but that the bans in the EU had not followed WTO procedures.

Helen Holder continued: "It is an absolute disgrace that European
taxpayers money was spent defending a trade dispute about products that
biotech companies were about to withdraw. The biotech industry should be
forced to pay the EU compensation for the time and money they have wasted."

The withdrawals will be discussed at a meeting today of Member States
following letters from the biotech industry stating that they will no
longer be marketed as they are not grown "on a global basis". [3] The
products include a controversial GM maize that was initially grown in
Spain but was stopped following health concerns because it contains a
resistance gene to the commonly used antibiotic, ampicillin. It was also
central to environmental concerns in the United States after research
indicated that it could damage the Monarch butterfly.[4]


For more information, please contact:

Helen Holder, GM Campaigner at Friends of the Earth Europe:
Tel: +32 2 542 0182, Mobile +32 474 857 638, Email:
Rosemary Hall, Communications Officer at Friends of the Earth Europe:
Tel: +32 25 42 61 05, Mobile: +32 485 930515, Email:


[1] The first GM crop to be grown in Europe was genetically modified
maize Bt176, produced by

[2] A recent detailed study shows that environmentally-friendly farming
will create more jobs
and make the EU more competitive than if it grows genetically modified
(GM) crops:

[3] Standing Committee of the Food Chain and Animal Health,

[4] The products being withdrawn are:
Genetically modified maize, Bt176 produced by Syngenta
Genetically modified oilseed rape, Ms1xRf1, produced by Bayer
Genetically modified oilseed rape, Ms1xRf2, produced by Bayer
Generically modified oilseed rape, Topas 19/2, produced by Bayer
Genetically modified maize, GA21xMON810, produced by Monsanto

European Commission proposals for withdrawals:
Withdrawal from the market of Bt176 (SYN-EV176-9) maize and its derived

Withdrawal from the market of Ms1xRf1 (ACS BNOO4 7xACS BNOO14) hybrid
oilseed rape and its
derived products

Withdrawal from the market of Ms1xRf2 (ACS BNOO4 7xACS BNOO2 5) hybrid
oilseed rape and its
derived products

Withdrawal from the market of Topas 19/2 (ACS BNOO7 1) oilseed rape and
its derived products

Withdrawal from the market of products derived from GA21xMON810 (MON
OOO21 9xMON OO81O -6)

Syngenta Bt176 maize

Bayer MS1/RF1 oilseed rape

Bayer MS1/RF2 oilseed rape

Bayer Falcon oilseed rape

Monsanto GA21 x MON810 maize

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