UK farm minister calls for EU to approve GM corn

decrease font size  Resize text   increase font size       Printer-friendly version of this article Printer-friendly version of this article

Britain's farm minister called on the European Union to approve a strain of genetically modified corn in a vote later this month, saying such a move was supported by scientific evidence.

"If approval is granted ... then it will be the first GM food crop authorised for planting by the EU for 15 years," Owen Paterson told the Oxford Farming Conference on Tuesday.

"Europe risks becoming the Museum of World Farming as innovative companies make decisions to invest and develop new technologies in other markets," he said.

The proposal covers an insect-resistant corn developed jointly by DuPont and Dow Chemical.

If approved, it would be the second GM crop that will be grown in the European Union after Monsanto won approval for another insect-resistant corn variety in 1998. By comparison, GM crops are grown widely in the Americas and parts of Asia.

"Whether or not this vote heralds a breakthrough in the EU's regulation of GM crops remains to be seen. Delays and blockages have been politically motivated rather than based on evidence," Paterson said.

The European Commission said it was "duty-bound" to propose a vote after Europe's second-highest court in September censured the EU executive for lengthy delays in the approval process, first launched back in 2001.

The proposal will be put to a vote by senior EU diplomats from its 28 states sometime before the end of the month, and a weighted majority would be needed for approval.

France, Austria and Italy are among countries expected to oppose approval, while supporters are likely to include Britain, Sweden and Spain.

"Let me be clear, there are other tools in the toolbox. GM is not a panacea," Paterson said. "But the longer that Europe continues to close its doors to GM, the greater the risk that the rest of the world will bypass us altogether."

In one example, German chemicals group BASF decided two years ago to move the BASF Plant Science headquarters to the United States and stop the development of genetically modified seeds for commercialisation in Europe.

Europe's second-highest court last month overturned a decision by the European Commission to allow the cultivation and sale of a genetically modified potato developed by BASF. It is no longer grown in Europe after BASF withdrew it in 2012.

"The ruling underscores that it was the right decision in January 2012 to focus our plant biotechnology activities on markets with future relevance," BASF said last month.


Buyers Guide

Doyle Equipment Manufacturing Co.
Doyle Equipment Manufacturing prides themselves as being “The King of the Rotary’s” with their Direct Drive Rotary Blend Systems. With numerous setup possibilities and sizes, ranging from a  more...
A.J. Sackett Sons & Company
Sackett Blend Towers feature the H.I.M, High Intensity Mixer, the next generation of blending and coating technology which supports Precision Fertilizer Blending®. Its unique design allows  more...
R&R Manufacturing Inc.
The R&R Minuteman Blend System is the original proven performer. Fast, precise blending with a compact foot print. Significantly lower horsepower requirement. Low inload height with large  more...
Junge Control Inc.
Junge Control Inc. creates state-of-the-art product blending and measuring solutions that allow you to totally maximize operating efficiency with amazing accuracy and repeatability, superior  more...
Yargus Manufacturing
The flagship blending system for the Layco product line is the fully automated Layco DW System™. The advanced technology of the Layco DW (Declining Weight) system results in a blending  more...
Yargus Manufacturing
The LAYCOTE™ Automated Coating System provides a new level of coating accuracy for a stand-alone coating system or for coating (impregnating) in an automated blending system. The unique  more...
John Deere
The DN345 Drawn Dry Spreader can carry more than 12 tons of fertilizer and 17.5 tons of lime. Designed to operate at field speeds up to 20 MPH with full loads and the G4 spreader uniformly  more...
Force Unlimited
The Pro-Force is a multi-purpose spreader with a wider apron and steeper sides. Our Pro-Force has the most aggressive 30” spinner on the market, and is capable of spreading higher rates of  more...
BBI Spreaders
MagnaSpread 2 & MagnaSpread 3 — With BBI’s patented multi-bin technology, these spreaders operate multiple hoppers guided by independent, variable-rate technology. These models are built on  more...


Comments (0) Leave a comment 

Name
e-Mail (required)
Location

Comment:

characters left


Portable Conveyors

Convey-all portable conveyors are designed to handle your crops gently and efficiently. We offer an extensive line of high capacity ... Read More

View all Products in this segment

View All Buyers Guides

Feedback Form
Feedback Form