The European Commission on Friday cleared three types of genetically modified corn made by the U.S. biotech giant Monsanto for use on the EU market. Two types of corn will be used for food and food ingredients and the third mainly will be used for animal feed, the commission said. The three corn types and any products containing them will have to clearly indicate that they have been genetically modified.
The authorizations will remain valid for 10 years, the commission said. The genetically modified corn, designed to resist several types of pests, cannot be cultivated in Europe, only imported. The commission's decision was criticized by Greenpeace, which said the genetically modified organism authorization process in the EU was "deeply flawed, marked by a lack of transparency and poor risk assessment." It said one of the types of corn authorized had triggered health problems in rats and should not be used for human consumption.
The EU ended a six-year moratorium on accepting applications for new biotech products in May 2004, introducing strict approval procedures and labeling regulations. However, several EU nations remain reluctant to authorize biotech crops because of public health and environmental concerns. Friday's decision brings to nine the total of genetically modified strains licensed for use in the EU since the European moratorium ended, reports the AP. N.U.