BRUSSELS, March 17 European Union farm ministers
failed to reach a decision on Thursday on whether to grant
import approval to three genetically modified (GM) crops, which
means the final decision now rests with the bloc's executive.
The ministers failed to decide whether to approve imports of
a herbicide-tolerant GM cotton developed by Germany's Bayer
(BAYGn.DE) and a herbicide- and insect-resistant maize developed
by U.S. biotech firm Monsanto (MON.N), an EU source said.
They also did not agree on a third application: to update an
existing EU approval for a pest- and herbicide-resistant maize
developed by Dow (DOW.N) to also cover its use as an animal feed
All of the applications cover the import and sale of GM
products such as animal feed but not their cultivation in the
EU ministers have never taken a decision either to reject or
approve a GM crop application for import or cultivation, with
governments constantly split along pro- and anti-GM lines.
For most GM crop applications when the EU's scientific
assessments find no environmental or health risks, the EU's
executive -- the European Commission -- has subsequently granted
approvals when ministers are unable to reach a decision.
(Reporting by Charlie Dunmore, editing by Rex Merrifield)