DuPont Pioneer biotecnologia tret llavors de blat de moro 1507 passed a critical milestone in the EU regulatory process when it was not rejected for cultivation by a qualified majority of EU member states. The final step before commercialization is formal approval by the EU Commission. That probably is not the end of the regulatory road.

DuPont Pioneer va presentar per primera vegada a l'aprovació de la UE a 2001for TC1507 (co-desenvolupat amb Dow Chemical i conegut a la U.S. com Herculex) a trait for corn borer resistance. At that time Monsantos MON810 for corn borer control was the only biotech corn trait approved in the EU. Thirteen years later it is still the only approved biotech trait. Last year Monsanto started withdrawing applications to grow additional biotech crops in the EU. Over those 13 any de blat de moro 1507 ha estat aprovat sis vegades per l'Agència Europea de Seguretat Alimentària (AESA) and prevailed in two court cases. It received approval for import into the EU for feed use in 2005 and for food use in 2006. It also has been approved for importing in all major corn importing countries, incloent Japó i la Xina.

Its current travel through the EU regulatory process is unique. In September of last year, Tribunal General de la Unió Europea va dictaminar en un cas presentat per DuPont-Pioneer a 2007 that the Commission failed to act on a cultivation request. It never had been referred to the Council of Ministers for a ruling.

La Comissió de la UE en qualitat de “Guardià dels Tractats” que va crear la UE va complir amb la decisió judicial a principis de novembre per presentar el cas davant el Consell de Ministres dels Estats Membres d'actuar dins dels tres mesos. They sent the case to the 28 members of the Council of Environment Ministers to decide on cultivation or not in the EU as a whole. A yes or no vote on the cultivation decision required a qualified majority for or against. In the council’s voting system, cadascuna de les 28 country has a different number of votes depending on their population size and other factors. The 19 countries opposed to cultivation did not have the required qualified majority to turn down the commission’s proposal to approve cultivation. They had 210 vots de la 260 requerida per bloquejar la mesura.

Cinc països van votar per al cultiu: Estònia, Finlàndia, Espanya, Suècia, and the United Kingdom. None of those was a surprise. The remaining four abstained: Bèlgica, República Txeca, Germany and Portugal. Germany would normally have likely voted against cultivation, but the new coalition government had not formed an official position at the time of the vote. It is normal for European coalition governments to abstain on a public policy issue where there are differences of opinions within the coalition leadership and a firm position has not been developed. With Germany on the sidelines, el grup anti-cultiu dels països no tenia una majoria qualificada i la qüestió ha estat fet fora de nou a la Comissió de la UE.

Segons el comissari europeu de Salut, Tonio Borg, the Commission is obliged by law to grant authorization since the Council did not have a qualified majority in favor or opposed to cultivation. Borg has not indicated a timeline for action, però l'assumpte es complica.

Quan la Comissió va enviar el blat de moro 1507 qüestió a el Consell de Ministres el novembre passat, Commissioner Borg said the Commission also took parallel action to reactivate a debate on the so-called cultivation proposal from the Commission four years ago, que ja ha estat aprovada pel Parlament Europeu, però s'ha encallat en el Consell de Ministres. This cultivation proposal would allow member states to restrict or prohibit cultivation of biotech crops on their territories on grounds other than those relating to risks to health, safety and the environment. If the Commission said yes to cultivation, a member state could still refuse to allow cultivation in its own country. Eight countries have already adopted measures that restrict planting of biotech crops. It would not change the procedure for authorizing food and feed use. The Environment Ministers are now expected to discuss the cultivation proposal in March.

When the cultivation proposal was made four years ago it was immediately seen as a trade issue. Under the WTO Agreement on Sanitary and Phytosanitary (MSF) mesures, un país pot negar-se a permetre una pràctica per a les qüestions relacionades amb la salut, la seguretat i el medi ambient, but not for other reasons. The EU proposal appears to be inconsistent with WTO commitments.

This has also raised question about the ongoing talks for the U.S.-EU Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership trade agreement. Biotech crops are one of many SPS issues needing to be resolved.

The five year appointment of the current EU Commission will expire later this year. The cultivation proposal was part of the discussion in creating the current Commission and will be again for the new one. As an indication of political pressures, el Parlament Europeu en una votació no vinculant al gener va votar en contra de l'aprovació de l'blat de moro 1507, 385 per 201 amb 30 abstentions. If the Commission does approve corn 1507, grups com Greenpeace demandarà la Comissió.

Malgrat tot el debat sobre el cultiu de blat de moro transgènic altra, 49 trets biotecnològics han estat autoritzats per la UE per a l'alimentació humana i animal, incloent 27 per al blat de moro, 08:00 per al cotó, seven for soybeans and three for canola. According to the International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-biotech Applications, països de la UE-cinc van plantar un registre 364,000 acres de blat de moro transgènic a 2013, fins 15% de 2012. Spain was the principal adopter planting 94% de la superfície total de biotecnologia de blat de moro a la UE.

DuPont Pioneer is ready to move ahead with commercialization. The DuPont Pioneer Communications Manager in Europe said after the Council vote, We are now confident that the European Commission, basat en els set dictàmens positius de seguretat publicats per l'AESA, adoptarà la decisió d'aprovació de nou segons el que disposa E.U. Llei. 1507 maize meets all EU regulatory requirements and should be approved for cultivation without further delay. Thirteen years in the regulatory process should be long enough, però probablement no és.

Ross Korves és analista de política comercial i econòmica amb veritat sobre Comerç &tecnologia (www.truthabouttrade.org).Follow us: @TruthAboutTrade onrefilo|Veritat sobre el Comerç & Technology onFacebook.