Brussels, 03 Nov 2005
The European biotechnology industry welcomes the EU Commission's decision to approve biotech maize 1507 (1) for import and processing, including for use in animal feed throughout the European Union. This decision follows after the EU Council in September was unable to reach the required qualified majority to approve 1507 maize.
The product is already approved in 12 other countries around the world and meets all the EU's regulatory requirements, including a positive safety opinion from the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA).
"Acting in accordance with EU regulations and the positive safety opinion of 1507 maize given by EFSA, the Commission has today given its decision to approve 1507 maize," says Simon Barber, Director of the Plant Biotechnology Unit at EuropaBio, the EU Association for bioindustries (2). "While we welcome today's decision, it is unacceptable that a minority of Member States continue to delay the process for approving safe new biotech products which have been given the all-clear by EFSA. We urge Member States to play by the rules that they themselves established and vote on new biotech products according to their safety evaluation given by the EU's own institutions."
Before imports derived from 1507 maize can enter the EU, the 1507 maize must also undergo another separate approval process to authorise its use in food. The approval of 1507 maize for food use is expected in early 2006.
1507 maize is genetically modified with a Bt gene, making it resistant to certain insect pests and was jointly developed by Pioneer Hi-Bred International, Inc., a subsidiary of DuPont, and by Dow AgroSciences.
For more information, contact
Adeline Farrelly Tel: +32 2 735 0313 Direct: +32 2 739 1174 Mobile: +32 475 93 17 24
Notes to Editors
(1) Updated fact sheet - EuropaBio Background Briefing on 1507 maize
(2) About EuropaBio
EuropaBio, the European Association for Bioindustries, has 50 direct members operating worldwide and 25 national biotechnology associations representing some 1500 small and medium sized enterprises involved in research and development, testing, manufacturing and distribution of biotechnology products. http:///www.europabio.org