EU AGRICULTURE MINISTERS have again failed to support Commission proposals to allow imports of a GM maize made by US company Monsanto.

The maize, called NK603, has been engineered to resist Monsanto‘s own herbicide (called RoundUp).

Last month, the Commission failed to get the qualified majority it needed for the NK603 to be used as animal feed.

On Monday (July 19), EU agriculture ministers were supposed to vote on its use as a human food. But when it became clear that there would be no qualified majority, there was no official vote.

This was the seventh time that the Commission failed to win support from the member states for a GM product.

Friends of the Earth has called the Commission‘s position on GM foods “untenable” and has urged the agriculture ministers to reject Monsanto‘s GM maize.

The environmental group argues that approving imports of the product would be in breach of EU regulations, since there has been no analysis of its long-term health effects.

Friends of the Earth GM campaigner Clare Oxborrow said: “The European Commission has now failed to get enough support to approve new genetically modified foods seven times in a row.”

“Their position is increasingly untenable and clearly incompatible with the wishes of the people in Europe and governments.”

“It is time that they put the welfare of the European public before the business interests of the biotechnology industry.”