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E.U. again divided over GM maize
European Report, May 5, 2004
There is a feeling in certain quarters that Agriculture Ministers are no more likely than experts to settle this question. On April 26 in Luxembourg, the fifteen EU Agriculture Ministers failed to agree on whether to lift or maintain the moratorium on another type of transgenic maize, BT 11 sweetcorn developed by the Swiss group Syngenta, preferring to refer the file to the European Commission for a final decision (see issues 2864 and 2865).


The decision to refer the case on may signal the end of the moratorium on further authorisations for GMOs (in place since 1999) within a few weeks. The European Commission has been working hard to lift the moratorium on the sale of genetically-modified organisms since the United States lodged a complaint with the World Trade Organisation.
Following the Standing Committee's negative vote, Adrian Bebb of Friends of the Earth Europe welcomed this further failure for Member States on GMOs and indicated that "once again, there is neither political consensus nor scientific consensus on the safety of genetically-modified foods". He pointed out that whilst scientists are unable to agree on the safety of these foods, which are rejected by consumers, "industry persists in seeking to impose them by force".

Johan Vanhemelrijck, Secretary-General of Europabio, the European biotechnology industry lobby, has not given up the chase and told Europe Information that "procedures and continuing and he remains confident of a positive outcome when the dossier returns to the European Commission's table". He was at pains to emphasise that the safety of NK 603 maize has been established by European Food Safety Authority experts, who he claims "have every confidence in Health and Consumer Protection Commissioner David Byrne".
MGR Archive 7.5.2004
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Region Type Price  
Russia Rapan $ 700
USA Jupiter Rice $630
USA Calrose #1 $830
USA Calrose #1 Paddy $480
EU Prices Baldo €660
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