EU to approve import of 17 GM foods as part of trade deal

Seventeen new genetically modified food products will be authorised for import to Europe before the end of May in a significant acceleration of biotech trade, the Guardian has learned.

An announcement could be made as early as next week, sources said, when a meeting of EU commissioners has been pencilled in to review adoption of new rules for approving GM imports.

Europe currently imports around 58 GM products from abroad, mostly US maize, cotton, soy bean and sugar beet.

But Greenpeace said that the US has raised the issue of a large logjam in biotech authorisations in talks over a free trade deal known as TTIP.

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“With transatlantic trade talks ongoing, pressure has been mounting from the biotech industry and the U.S. government to break open the EU market to GM imports and to speed up authorisation procedures,” Marco Contiero, Greenpeace EU’s agriculture director, told the Guardian. 

Individual countries would be given a similar opt-out to the one agreed for GM cultivation in a law passed earlier this year.

Related article:  ChemChina's purchase of Syngenta may open door for other GM seed companies in China

“This would be another licence to ban safe products,” Beat Späth, the director for agricultural biotechnology at the EuropaBio trade association told the Guardian. “If countries impose unjustified bans on products that have been used by farmers for 15 years, where are our farmers supposed to get their feed from?”

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the variety of news, opinion and analysis. Read full, original post: EU clears path for 17 new GM foods

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