Austria to keep its ban on GMO maize
by Redaktion (comments: 0)
EU ministers turned down the second attempt to order Austria to drop its bans on two genetically modified (GMO) maize types, MON 810 maize made by Monsanto and T25 maize made by Bayer. This was the second rejection regarding this matter. In June 2005, the Commission tried to get rid of the bans already, but environment ministers rejected the proposals then as well. The Commission's draft order was proposed in response to a WTO ruling that attacked various national GMO safeguards for breaking international trade rules. Only Britain, Sweden, the Netherlands and the Czech Republic supported the Commission, all other ministers were in agreement about the ban.
In the eyes of some observers, it looked like the Commission's attempt regarding the Austrian ban was a demonstration for the complainants Argentina, Canada and the United States that it was taking action to facilitate more approvals. Privately, Commission officials said the biggest worry was more pressure from the three WTO complainants over GMO approvals, or from the two manufacturing companies themselves. Austria's Environment Minister was very content that the Commission's order was rejected. So were environment groups - they were quick to warn the Commission not to attempt similar actions against other EU countries. Presently, the EU has only a set of non-binding guidelines for crop co-existence, EU governments are to draft their own rules. They are then to be submitted for the approval of the Commission.
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