Euro Parliament Rejects Genetic Corn

AP Wire Tuesday 04/08/1997

STRASBOURG, France (AP) -- The European Parliament overwhelmingly voted Tuesday to recommend an end to the sale of genetically-altered corn in the 15-nation European Union.

By a vote of 407-2, parliament called on the European Commission to suspend its authorization for imports of the grain, which was granted last December to the Swiss company Ciba-Geigy.

The European Commission, the EU's executive agency, is not bound by the parliament's resolution to change its policy.

Farmers, environmentalists and consumer groups have protested the imports, which largely come from the United States, contending the corn hasn't been adequately proven safe.

Parliament's push to end the corn sales comes as trade officials from Europe and the United States prepare to meet in Washington next week to discuss EU regulations for genetically-altered food products.

Austria and Luxembourg already have banned the corn imports, saying the herbicides and antibiotic-resistant chemicals used in its production have not been sufficiently tested.

France banned the cultivation of genetically-modified corn last February, but is permitting the imports that carry special labeling.

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