Brussels, 29 Nov 2004
Following today's vote in the Regulatory Committee on the release of genetically modified organisms into the environment, the draft decision to authorise the import and processing of the genetically modified maize known as MON 863 will pass on to the Council of Ministers. The Committee, which is set up under Directive 2001/18/EC and representing the Member States, did not reach the qualified majority necessary to support the Commission proposal to authorise the maize. The Commission will now, in the coming weeks, formally transmit the proposal to the Council of Ministers for decision. The Council can either adopt or reject the proposal with a qualified majority. If no decision is taken after three months, the file returns to the Commission which can then adopt it. If authorized, the Bt-maize, which has been modified for resistance to corn rootworm, would be clearly labelled as containing GM maize, in accordance with the labelling and traceability legislation in force since 15 April 2004. It would be authorized for import and processing, for example as animal feed, but not for cultivation or human food.