Brussels, 21 Dec 2004
19 out of the 25 Environment Ministers who met in Brussels on 20 December voted against approval of the GT73 oilseed rape, genetically modified (GM) by Monsanto in order to resist its own herbicide, glyphosate.
In June of this year, a panel of EU environmental regulators had also failed to give a positive opinion on the matter despite the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) declaring that GT73 was 'as safe as conventional oilseed rape for humans and animals, and in the context of the proposed uses, for the environment.'
As the qualified majority of 232 votes required for adopting or rejecting a Commission's proposal was not reached, this leaves the final decision to approve GT73 to the Commission. The Commission has already stated that it believes the introduction of this product to the Community market for industrial processing and animal feed should be authorised.
'The product may be used as any other oilseed rape, with the exception of cultivation and uses as or in food and may be placed on the markets subject to the conditions laid down in Article three (period of validity of ten years; labelling conditions, authorised identifier, etc,' said the Commission in a statement.
It is expected that the issue will go back to the Commission in January. If approved, it will be the third GMO to be authorised since May 2004.