Iowa Public Television


EU Set to Block GM Sweet Corn

posted on April 23, 2004

European Union farm ministers on Monday are expected to reject the approval for the use of a new genetically modified sweet corn variety, extending a six-year ban on the production of new biotech foods.

The ministers meeting in Luxembourg will get a last chance to approve the application by Swiss-based Syngenta company to introduce the Bt11 sweet corn seed product on the European market. The ministers face a May 1 deadline and several E.U. nations have blocked a deal for months.

"This is something of a pivotal decision," said a senior E.U. diplomat. "It's quite clear that there is a bloc of states which more or less hang together on this."

France, Portugal, Austria, Luxembourg, Greece and Denmark said at a meeting two weeks ago that they would block the application. The six countries have enough votes to succeed in that task.

Tags: agriculture biotechnology corn European Union food genetic engineering news trade