Brussels, 17 Jun 2004
A panel of EU national environmental regulators failed to agree, on 16 June, whether or not to allow genetically modified (GM) rapeseed manufactured by Monsanto to be imported into the EU.
This move not only undermines efforts to diffuse a trans-Atlantic trade dispute over EU GM food restrictions, but also means the politically-charged decision will now be handed to ministers.
National ministers will have to rule on the rapeseed or, as they did with the Syngenta corn a month ago, let the European Commission decide.
The European Commission has already asked ministers to approve the import of a Monsanto gene-altered corn variety for animal feed after regulators blocked this in February. A decision by the ministers is due at the end of June.
A spokesperson for Monsanto said in a statement: 'We would hope the Council of Ministers approves the product, because it has been determined to be safe by the European Food Safety Authority.'