EU opens the way for new GM soy

[img_assist|nid=239|title=|desc=|link=none|align=left|width=100|height=43]On 8 September, the EU Commission allowed the import of a new GM soy event that so far is mainly grown in the US. This does not only open the way for new GM soy in animal feed but it might also work as an incentive to allow its cultivation in South American countries because they now don't have to worry that soy contaminated with this event could not be exported to Europe.

Bayer's GMsoy A2704-12 is mainly grown in the US, and its likely that soy shipments to Europe will be contaminated with it, if not now then in future. Without this approval of A2704-12, any soy contaminated with it would not have been allowed as animal feed. Shipments would either have to be returned or destroyed. At this moment it's only approved for cultivation in the US, Canada and Japan, but with no chances are that other countries might approve it for cultivation as well.

A2704-12 is herbicide tolerenat against Bayer's herbicide glufosinate, sold under the brand name Liberty.

In the last years, it has often been argued that the asynchronic approval of new GM crops in the US but not in Europe would let feed prices raise, but a detailed report from Friends of the Earth Europe (May 2008) shows that these GM crops are neither allowed nor cultivated in those countries from which the EU imports most of its animal feed. In addition, a number of other factors play an important role in setting the price for animal feed.

Currently the US does little to separate GM and non-GM products. Large-scale contamination, followed by approvals to sell the contaminated products and the GM crop itself can therefore be seen als a way to also force other countries into accepting these GMOs.

As with all other GM crops before, there were not enough EU memberstates in favour of its approval - but also not enough voiced a clear "no". So once again, it was up to the EU Commission to take a decision.