Dimas rejects Bt11 and 1507 Bt maize cultivation

[img_assist|nid=107|title=|desc=|link=none|align=left|width=100|height=43]For the first time the EU Environmental Commissioner Dimas proposed to reject applications for the cultivation of GMOs. The crops in question are the two Bt maize events Bt11 (Syngenta) and 1507 maize (Pioneer HiBred/Dow).
The proposal is apparently based on clear scientific evidence proving that the cultivation of these two GM crops has the potential to cause environmental harm. Nevertheless both crops had gotten a positive opinion from the EFSA in 2005. [Bt11, 1507]

Friends of the Earth Europe and Greenpeace however state in their press release, that Commissioners Mandelson (Trade), Verheugen (Industry) and Fischer Boel (Agriculture) are among a small group of Commissioners that are expected to oppose the proposal and the application of the precautionary principle to this case.
The proposal from Dimas is therefore not the final decision on this issue, but it would only be consequent of the EU commission to follow its own argumentation during the WTO dispute with the US, Canada and Argentina where the EU had already argued that Bt crops should not be currently grown because of the incomplete knowledge about their long-term environmental impact. Since then, new scientific evidence even showed more potential effects.

At the same time the cultivation of the only Bt maize approved in the EU (MON810) has been completely banned in some countries, and is currently stopped in Germany and France due to new scientific evidence and concerns about negative environmental effects. At EU level, MON810 is in a re-approval procedure.