Environment MEPs block new GM maize

Environment MEPs have opposed a new GM maize authorisation, banning it for the time being from food or feed use on the basis that the EU’s whole GM authorisation procedure remains “under review”.

“The European Commission (EC) should not authorise the use of glyphosate-tolerant GM maize NK603 x T25 in food or feed,” stated a resolution adopted by the EC environment committee on Tuesday this week.

MEPs also said that the EC should suspend any authorisations for GM food and feed as long as the procedure, currently under review, has not been improved. In addition, the environment committee said that the current authorisation procedure for GM food and feed is “not working well”.

The resolution highlights the fact that since the current GM authorisation process came into force each authorisation decision has been adopted by the Commission, without the support of a qualified majority of member states, turning the exception into the norm.

The “under review” GM authorisation process was opposed by the European Parliament (EP) in October with MEPs agreeing that the law might prove unworkable or that it could lead to the reintroduction of border checks between pro and anti-GM countries. They have called on the Commission to table a new proposal.

As for NK603 x T25, it was classified as “probably carcinogenic to humans” on March 20 2015 by the cancer agency of the World Health Organisation but cleared by the European Food Safety Authority on November 12 as being “unlikely to pose a carcinogenic hazard to humans”.

The follow on from this week’s environment committee decision will be put to a full EP vote during the January 18-21. 2016, plenary session in Strasbourg.

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