On 30. October 2009 the European Commission has authorized the importation of three transgenic maize events: MON88017 and MON89034, both form Monsanto, and 59122 x NK603 from Pioneer Hi-Bred (a Dupont company). The three transgenic events now can legally be imported into Europe over the next 10 years for food and feed uses.
The Commission decision came only ten days after the meeting of the Agriculture and Fisheries Council, where none of the three events had obtained a qualified majority.
Member States voting against an authorisation not only raised safety and political reasons against the three applications but also criticised the favourable EFSA opinions on the three events as not fully satisfactory. As the European agriculture ministers did not find an agreement about the three applications, the ministers forwarded the issue to the European
The quick Commission decision is a victory for EU grain importers and animal feed makers. Supported by European agriculture commissioner Mariann Fischer Boel they are campaigning for the authorisation of transgenic events which are approved for cultivation in North- and South American countries. The grain and feed industry wants to unlock their North- and South American import marktes, which were largely blocked, after trace amounts of unapproved maize events such as MON88017 have been found in shiploads at European ports. Since summer 2009 over 200,000 tonnes of soybean imports have been refused entry to the EU because they were contaminated with small residues of unapproved maize events. To further facilitate imports the grain and feed industry has already its sights on the next unapproved transgenic maize event, namely MIR604 from Syngenta. As industry exponents highlight that normal imports could only resume, when also MIR604 maize is approved, the EU Commission presumably will grant permission soon. Industry exponents assume, that an EU decision on MIR604 maize could be made in November. tabela