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EU split over biotech maize, potato

Source:AFP.com Author:Unknown Date:03/25/14 Click:

BRUSSELS (AFP) - EU farm ministers failed on Monday to agree whether to allow new strains of genetically modified maize and potato, amid persisting divisions over biotech products.

"There wasn't a qualified majority either in favour or against" for the products, a diplomat said.

As a result, under EU rules it will be up to the European Commission to decide whether the products should be allowed onto the market in Europe.

The commission is likely to decide in favour because it always follows the opinions of the European Food Safety Agency, which says that the five products do not represent a danger.

The ministers considered four strains of maize developed by US group Monsanto, although one is now owned by Swiss company Syngenta.

The strains are intended for both animal and human use and are designed to resist disease and parasites.

The fifth product is a variety of potato made by US group BASF, which the company wants to use for animal feed.

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