EU hopes of end to GM moratorium dashed

Scientific committee's split vote leaves attempt to restart approvals process hanging in the air

European Commission ambitions to remove a de facto EU moratorium on the commercialisation of genetically modified (GM) products suffered an embarrassing setback on Monday when a committee of national experts failed to support an application concerning a sweetcorn called Bt-11 made by Syngenta.

The vote was postponed last month as the Commission feared its recommendation to approve the application would not win the required qualified majority support (EED 07/11/03). In a statement issued after Monday's vote, however, the Commission said the results were "expected".

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