GMO moratorium: experts postpone decision

The EU’s regulatory committee has deferred a decision on whether or not to approve the import of a sweet corn which has been genetically modified to produce its own insecticide.

The EU's regulatory committee deferred on 10 November 2003 the decision on whether or not to approve the import of a sweet corn which has been genetically modified to produce its own insecticide. The sweet corn, called Bt-11, is produced by Swiss biotech company Syngenta.

The case was seen as a test case for the EU's longstanding 'de facto' moratorium on GMO products. The Commission's spokesperson told the press that the decision had been postponed until 12 December. Member States are divided over the issue with the UK, Spain and the Netherlands in favour of lifting and Austria and Italy very much against.

If the committee cannot reach a decision on 12 December, the application will have to be considered by the EU's farm ministers, who would have 90 days to react. Even if authorisation is granted in December, imports could not start until the EU has its legislation on the labelling of GM products in place. The EU's new rules on the labelling of GMO products will come into force in April 2004.

 

Subscribe to our newsletters

Subscribe

Want to know what's going on in the EU Capitals daily? Subscribe now to our new 9am newsletter.