EU Approves New GMO Corn Varieties

Europe appears to be softening a bit on its stance on genetically modified food and feed. The European Commission has approved the Herculex RW protection trait stacked with Roundup Ready Corn 2 (RR2) for food, feed, import, and processing.

The technologies have been approved separately by the European Commission since October 2007. The stacked technology was developed through traditional breeding, according to DuPont, whose Pioneer Hi-Bred seeds company co-developed the technology with Dow AgroSciences.

“We are encouraged by this approval and look forward to continued progress of biotech approvals in the EU,” Pioneer Hi-Bred President Paul Schickler said in a press release. “We urge the Commission and EU member states to similarly approve biotech crops for cultivation so Europe’s farmers have access to the same technologies as other farmers around the world.”

The EU also approved Monsanto’s YieldGard VT technologies stacked with RR2. The final step in the approval process will be the publication of the decision by the European Commission. These approvals follow the European Food Safety Authority’s positive opinions on the safety of the products in December 2008 for YieldGard VT Pro and April 2009 for YieldGard VT Rootworm/RR2.

Monsanto says its YieldGard VT corn technologies deliver important benefits to growers by helping to increase yields while using fewer inputs, thus contributing to greater sustainability in agriculture.

“We welcome the Commission’s decision to follow the independent scientific advice of the European Food Safety Authority,” notes Jerry Hjelle, Monsanto’s vice president of Global Regulatory. “These approvals will enable farmers in North and South America to improve productivity in a more sustainable manner. Moreover, these authorizations will provide market access for these products needed by European livestock producers. We hope for timely EU approvals for other existing and pipeline products.”

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