April 20, 2004



EU Food Agency Says One of Monsanto's Biotech Corn Safe


Europe's food agency has declared one of Monsanto-marketed biotech corn safe for humans, animals and the environment. However, it failed to reach a decision on a second.


The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) said on Monday that it had decided a genetically modified maize known as MON 863 "is as safe as conventional maize."


But when it came to a second maize, MON 863xMON 810, the advisory panel was "divided".


Therefore it is asking for further studies to be carried out before it pronounces a final judgement.


MON863 was engineered to be resistant to certain pests - notably rootworm - whilst MON 863xMON 810 went one step further by being resistant to several winged insects as well.


The judgements on Monday were in line with two earlier opinions, declaring GM rapeseed GT73 and maize NK603 safe.


EFSA has not ruled any gene-altered crop to be dangerous as yet.


The food authority's decisions have no legal clout. But the implication is that the debate on authorising these corns in the EU could now move to the European Commission and national governments.

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