GENTECH archive 8.96-97


Fwd: EU Approves Modified U.S. Corn

Forwarded message:
From:	74250.735@CompuServe.COM (John Stauber)
To: (Rose & Ron)
Date: 96-12-18 11:08:16 EST

--------------- Forwarded Story ---------------

Headline: EU Approves Modified U.S. Corn
Wire Service: APO (AP Online)
Date: Wed, Dec 18, 1996

 Copyright 1996 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.
The information contained in this news report may not be published, broadcast
otherwise distributed without the prior written authority of the Associated
 Associated Press Writer
   BRUSSELS, Belgium (AP) -- The European Commission today approved imports
genetically modified U.S. corn into the 15-nation European Union, drawing
criticism from environmentalists.
   The ruling cleared the way for the sale of ordinary U.S. corn, worth $500
million, which was scheduled for 1996.
   That sale had been in doubt because gene-modified corn, though making up
0.6 percent of this year's U.S. corn crop, had not been separated from
conventional corn and is apparently indistinguishable from it.
   The decision averted a potentially bruising trade war with the United
But it immediately drew criticism from Greenpeace.
   "They made a big mistake," said Louise Gale, Greenpeace spokeswoman in
Brussels. "We are going to call on the member states to stop this from coming
into their countries and to take the commission to court."
   Greenpeace and other opponents had urged the commission to ban corn that
been genetically altered to make the corn more resistant to crop disease.
Greenpeace believes the corn is unhealthy for humans and bad for the
because of the chemicals used in processing it.
   In its decision, the commission, the EU's executive agency, also allowed
gene-modified corn to be grown in EU countries. It said it consulted three
scientific committees that all concluded the modified corn was safe to eat.
   The panels assessed the corn's safety last summer, after EU environment
ministers expressed concern about consumer confidence in corn.
   They studied the matter at the height of a public health scare in Europe
mad cow disease in Britain that led London's partners to ban worldwide sales
British beef. That ban still stands.