Battle over GM crops rages on in Europe

Europe’s ambivalence over genetically modified crops continues to lead to outbreaks of conflict and recrimination. The latest flurry involves a European Union vote on whether to approve a breed of GM corn made by biotech giant Monsanto. Eight countries voted to approve, 12 voted to deny, and five abstained, meaning the corn is a no-go for now. Meanwhile, Friends of the Earth Europe accused the European Food Safety Authority, Europe’s top food safety agency, of pervasive bias in favor of GM crops, after it issued a stream of reports favorable to the biotech industry. Also this week, a study released in the U.K., funded in part by industry, found that herbicide-resistant GM crops did not decrease the diversity of weeds and flowers in fields where they were grown for four years, despite charges to the contrary by environmental organizations. Enviro groups immediately denounced the study. And so it goes.