Italy's ban covers products derived from maize lines BT11, MON 910, MON 809 and T25. It claims that these should not have been regarded as "substantially equivalent" to non-GM products during the EU approvals process and therefore should have been subjected to a fuller safety evaluation (ENDS Daily 7 August). Italy's biotechnology industry denies the claim and recently sought European Commission support to overturn the ban (ENDS Daily 11 September).
In its opinion, the EU scientific committee on food reviews two documents provided by the Italian authorities to justify the prohibition decree. Both list a number of potential problems, but the first contains "no specific information" linking these to any of the products under consideration, while the second itself concludes that there is currently "no evidence" of risks to human health or animal welfare, the committee says.
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