The European Parliament's Environment Committee has today (21 March) voted against the import of a range of genetically modified maize varieties for use in feed and food. The majority of MEPs voted against the European Commission's proposal to authorize several Genetic Engineering Maize varieties from Syngenta (1).
Commenting after the vote, Green food safety spokesperson Bart Staes said:
"It is a great success that the majority of MEPs have rejected the import and use of GM maize in the European Union. It is the sixth time in around one year that Parliament has voted against new GM authorisations. The European Commission's latest proposal would allow imports of up to 20 different varieties. Only a few of these varieties have been tested by the European Food Authority (EFSA) and most have not yet been produced so to give them the green light would be completely irresponsible.
“Even EFSA has criticised the lack of the relevant data needed to provide a precise risk assessment. We have already identified serious flaws in the EU assessment procedure. So as long as complete and up-to-date scientific data is not available, permission must not be granted. The governments of the EU Member States must take the message from the Environment Committee seriously and vote against importing genetically modified maize into the European Union next week."
(1) The Commission has submitted a proposal to authorize new genetically modified maize varieties from Syngenta. This would allow the use of five different characteristics (Bt11 × 59122 × MIR604 × 1507 × GA21) and their combinations. This could bring more than 20 different genetically modified maize varieties to the European market. The Standing Committee of EU Member States "Plants, Animals, Food and Feed" was unable to reach an opinion on the Commission proposal on 27 January. The text will now be presented to an appeal committee on 27 March. If there is still no decision, it will be returned to the Commission.