EU will feed animals with genetically modified maize

The European Commission on Thursday authorized imports into the European Union of a type of genetically modified maize for use in animal feed.

The EU head office's decision to approve imports of the modified 1507 strain - produced by U.S. companies Pioneer Hi-Bred International and Dow Chemical's AgroSciences unit - is valid for 10 years.

An authorization for use as food is still under examination, the Commission said.

In September, European farm ministers were deadlocked over whether the maize should be allowed into the EU, even though the European Food Safety Authority ruled it safe. The 1507 strain has been modified to resist certain parasites and herbicides.

Pioneer had requested that the European Commission step in and take a decision. Under EU law, the Commission has this power.

The EU ended a six-year moratorium on accepting applications for new genetically modified foods in May 2004 - after the Commission approved a product on behalf of the member states - but several EU nations remain reluctant to authorize these products.

Concerns about the safety of biotech foods for consumers and the environment have led many Europeans to resist the introduction of such products, the AP reports.


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