Brussels, 25 June 2004
On 18 February 2004, the EU Regulatory Committee set up to regulate GMO approvals and composed of Member States' representatives could not reach agreement on the Commission's draft legislative Decision to permit the placing of the market of NK 603 maize. The matter is then automatically referred to the Council.
NK 603 is maize that has been genetically modified to be resistant to glyphosate, a herbicide that is effective in killing weeds. Approval is sought for the import of NK 603 for industrial processing and its use as feed. If the Council cannot reach a decision, which requires a qualified majority, the file will come back to the Commission for final decision. This is envisaged by the Directive on the deliberate release into the environment of genetically modified organisms ( 2001/18/EC ). The Commission's draft Decision is based on an assessment of the European Food Safety Authority, which on 4 December 2003 found that "the herbicide-tolerant GM maize NK 603 is as safe as conventional maize."