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EU panel approves genetically modified corn hybrids

In news that is certain to be welcome in both Canada and the US, the European Union's food safety agency has approved the use of two GMO corn hybrids, part of what is hoped to be a growing trend among EU nations.

November 3, 2008  By Associated Press/The Industry Standard

October 31, 2008

The European Union's food safety agency approved two genetically modified corn hybrids, putting renewed pressure on EU nations to drop their objections to the use of biotech crops.

Scientists at the Parma, Italy-based European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) gave clearance to a Bt-11 corn seed developed by Switzerland's Syngenta AG and the 1507 hybrid developed jointly by US-based Pioneer Hi-Bred and Dow Agrosciences.


Both hybrids offer resistance to insects, including corn borers and certain species of butterflies. They were already deemed safe by the agency in 2005, but were resubmitted for testing by the EU Commission in May 2008 amid fresh claims by environmental groups that they were a threat to the environment and human health.

The EU agency also noted a French ban on another GM corn product, produced by US biotech giant Monsanto Co., was unjustified. The EU granted approval to sell the seeds in the bloc in 2004.

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