Commission authorises GMOs for food and animal feed

26 January 2024

The European Commission has granted approval for the utilisation of genetically modified maize and has also extended the authorisation for two genetically modified oilseed rapes for use in both food and animal feed. The Commission states that these approvals are in line with the European Union’s food safety protocols.

The decision, a press release says, is founded on a positive scientific evaluation conducted by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), affirming the safety equivalence of these crops to their conventional counterparts. The Commission was compelled to make a decision on these crops as Member States failed to achieve a qualified majority either in favor or against the authorisation during the Standing Committee and subsequent Appeal Committee sessions.

The Commission’s decision does not permit the cultivation of these crops within the EU; rather, it allows their importation from third countries for use as food and animal feed. The granted authorisations are valid for a period of 10 years, and any products derived from these crops must adhere to the EU’s stringent labeling and traceability regulations.

SAFE reiterates the importance of upholding European Union food safety standards. A significant portion of genetically modified cropland is dedicated to crops designed to withstand herbicide spraying that would otherwise be fatal to them. Consequently, the cultivation of these crops has resulted in a substantial surge in herbicide usage. Allowing the importation of GMOs from third countries does not prioritise consumer safety, as these GMOs are destined to be part of the meals consumed by European consumers.