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Monday, 11 November 2013

EC legally obliged to pass on a 12-year old GMO cultivation request

European ministers need to decide whether to approve the cultivation of variety of genetically modified organisms (GMO), after the European Commission (EC) was legally obliged to pass on the 12-year-old request.
The EC passed the decision on to the European Council of Ministers on Wednesday 6 November after the EU General Court ruled last month that it had failed to act on a 2001 request by European ministers to cultivate the genetically modified maize, Pioneer-DuPont’s 1507.
European Health Commissioner Tonio Borg said: “Duty bound to comply with the ruling of the Court, the Commission has decided today to send a draft decision of authorization of the maize 1507 to the Council.” The EC will be legally forced to approve the cultivation of GMO crop if ministers do not reach a majority for or against the decision, as the request came before the 2007 revision of EU decision-making procedures.
Borg said the delay showed the need for better EU-wide rules governing the cultivation of GMO crops. “The Court's decision on maize 1507 confirms the urgency of reconciling strict and predictable European authorization rules for GMO cultivation, with fair consideration of national contexts.” He called for dialogue between the European Commission, Parliament and Council, to reach a firm decision on the maize.
Pioneer-DuPont developed 1507 to cultivate maize resistant to specific harmful moth larvae, such as the European corn borer. The European Food Safety Agency (EFSA) had cleared the 1507 genetically modified maize for human and animal consumption six times. Up to now, EU countries against GMO crops have been able to use a safeguard clause to prevent their cultivation.

Source: Euractiv