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Prepare to be A-Maized
Johnny GMO-Seed Ready for European Tour

After 13 years of obstruction and disagreement, the European Union may be ready to green-light a pest-resistant genetically modified crop of corn . Reuters reports:

On Tuesday, ministers and diplomats from 19 of the 28 EU countries opposed approval, but under the bloc’s weighted voting system, that was not enough to reject the crop.

Instead, the Commission is now legally obliged to approve it, European Health Commissioner Tonio Borg said. He said he could not specify when, although EU rules state the Commission must decide “without undue delay”.

Europe’s chief concerns here aren’t for human health. A European Food Safety Authority scientific panel said way back in 2005 that the corn was as safe for human consumption as its conventional counterpart. Rather, environmentalists are concerned that the toxin the GMO produces, which is harmful to pestilent moths, might cause collateral damage. But on that front, the EFSA again cleared the corn: “The Panel agrees with the assessment of the applicant that risk of exposure of non-target [organisms] to harmful toxin concentrations via 1507 maize pollen is negligible and that adverse impacts on populations are very unlikely.”

Green opposition to GMOs has always been more about sentiment than science, and nowhere does that inclination cloud policymaking more than in Europe. That’s why the EU hasn’t been able to agree on this crop after more than a decade of argument. EU member states didn’t reach an agreement today, but thanks to a procedural rule, they didn’t have to—the European Commission now must approve the crop. Bureaucracy is doing what scientific analysis couldn’t: overriding intractable green resistance and bringing the benefits of technology to Europe.

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  • TommyTwo

    I shall now head to the reinforced basement of my nuclear bunker, hoping it will protect me from the falling sky.

  • El Gringo

    “Green opposition to GMOs has always been more about sentiment than science.”

    And has been very succesful. As one biotech company manager recently told me, “People don’t care about the science. We have been pushing the science for years now, trying to show people how safe GMO is but people don’t care. When you are talking about mothers going to the grocery store to buy milk for their children, science has very little to do with it.”

    If the goal is to promote GMO then those in favor need to find a different message. You either appeal to the customers’ emotion or their pocketbooks because appealing to their logic has been a dead end.

  • Government Drone

    So: Europen sentimentality has been overcome, not by an appeal to reason, nor practicality, nor facts — but rather because of a blind & procedurally bound bureaucracy that takes no account of the wishes of the people it allegedly serves.
    I don’t know whether to laugh or cry at this.

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