Commission authorises five GM ingredients

By Niamh Michail

- Last updated on GMT

© GettyImages/amenic-181
© GettyImages/amenic-181
The European Commission has authorised five genetically modified crops for food and feed.

The crops include four types of maize and one sugar beet variety.

The two new varieties are maize MON 87427 x MON 89034 x NK603 and maize 1507 x 59122 x MON 810 x NK603.

Three existing authorisations for maize DAS-59122-7, maize GA21 and sugar beet H7-1 have been renewed.

“All member states had a right to express a view in the standing committee and subsequently the Appeals Committee, and the outcome is that the European Commission has the legal backing of the member states to proceed,” ​the Commission said in a statement.

Each of the GM crops has been evaluated by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), which gave a favourable opinion in each case.

Manufacturers using these ingredients must clearly label the product to inform consumers by stating ‘genetically modified’ or ‘produced from genetically modified [name of the organism]’.

If the products are sold loose or without packaging the supermarket must display these words close to the product, for instance on a note on the supermarket shelf.

If a product contains less than 0.9% of GM ingredients, or if the presence of GM is adventitious or technically unavoidable, these labelling requirements do not apply.

The authorisations are valid for 10 years and do not cover the use of these varieties for cultivation.

The crops were developed by Monsanto and Syngenta to be herbicide or insect resistant.

Last month, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) ruled​ on new plant breeding techniques (NPBTs). It said crops obtained by mutagenesis are GMOs as the techniques and methods of mutagenesis alter the genetic material of a plant in a way that does not occur naturally.

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