Europe’s leading food safety agency has given the planting of a genetically modified (GMO) maize, known as 1507, a favourable assesment.This is a first step towards possible EU approval for growing. The EU has lifted a 6-year ban on allowing imports of new GMOs but approval for gene-spliced crops that can be planted in Europe’s fields pre-dates 1998. The EU’s 25 governments are deeply divided on GMOs. Spain is the only one that allows gene-altered crops to be grown on a commercial scale. The agency has already given positive assessments of GMOs for people and animals to eat but this is its first approval of a “live” one that can be planted.