When European Union agriculture ministers gathered Monday (19 July), they were again unable to come to a decision about whether to authorize imports of genetically modified (GM) "NK603" maize for human consumption. However, on the same day, the European Commission (EC) approved the marketing of the product for animal feed.

The contrasting decisions were about Monsanto's Roundup Ready corn, which is engineered to resist the company's Roundup herbicide, and received a safety approval by the European Food Safety Authority last year. Even though the EC approved the import of this corn for animal feed, implementation of this decision must wait until the equivalent approval has been granted for human consumption.

That decision is now in the hands of the EC. According to the European Union's decision-making process, if the ministers of member states fail to agree on allowing a new GM organism (GMO), then the EC—as the bloc's executive branch—may...

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