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EC approves long overdue GM plants

After a one-and-a-half-year standstill, the European Commission (EC) has cleared the import of ten new types of genetically modified (GM) maize, soybeans, cotton and oilseed rape as either human food or animal feed, and two GM carnations for sale as cut flowers. The commission also renewed the licenses for seven genetically modified organisms (GMOs). The newly approved GM crops and flowers produced by Monsanto, BASF and Bayer CropScience had previously undergone a full authorization procedure, including a positive scientific assessment by the European Food Safety Authority. The approvals follow an earlier proposal to change the rules of GM approval allowing individual countries to restrict or prohibit GM imports even after they have been approved by the EC. These authorizations are a step in the right direction, declared industry body EuropaBio. The crops have been cleared for use in animal feed only, not for human consumption. Only one GM crop is currently grown in Europe: Mon810, Monsanto's maize, in Spain and Portugal.

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EC approves long overdue GM plants. Nat Biotechnol 33, 578 (2015).

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