EU approves Syngenta GM maize strains

A researcher checks on corn plants in a green house cultivating natural corn and genetically modified corn in Syngenta Biotech Center in Beijing, China, February 19, 2016. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon/File Photo

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - The European Commission said on Friday it had authorized 11 varieties of genetically modified maize produced by Syngenta Crop Protection for use as food or feed.

The authorization, which does not cover cultivation, is valid for 10 years and any products with the GM maize strains are subject to labeling and traceability rules.

The Commission stepped in with a decision after the EU’s member states failed to produce an opinion. The European Food and Safety Authority had given a favorable assessment.

The authorization covers Syngenta product Bt11 x MIR162 x MIR604 x GA21 and 10 related types of GM maize.

Although authorized for food and feed, in practice the EU-approved GM strains are exclusively used in animal feed. Most GM products are insect-resistant or tolerant to certain herbicides.

Reporting by Philip Blenkinsop; editing by Jason Neely