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EU appeal committee to consider GM soybean approvals

Decisions on the EU approval of two genetically modified soybean lines will be referred to an appeal committee after member states were unable to reach a qualified majority agreement. The European Commission has proposed approval for Bayer CropScience’s glufosinate herbicide-tolerant A5547-127 (LibertyLink) and renewal of the approval for Monsanto’s glyphosate-tolerant 40-3-2 (Roundup Ready) soybeans. Both approvals would cover food and feed uses, not cultivation. The EU Standing Committee on the Food Chain and Animal Health failed to accept or reject the proposals at its November meeting, despite the fact that the GM lines passed EU safety assessments earlier this year ( Agrow No 616, p 12, and No 607, p 9). The soybeans are the first GM crop decisions to go through the new appeal committee process. Earlier this year, the committee handled its first agrochemical decision, for the herbicide, asulam, when it endorsed the Commission’s proposal against re-registration ( Agrow No 625, p 19).

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