Despite 19 of the EU’s 28 members voting against, American chemicals giants Du Pont and Dow look set to get the seal of approval on growing a strain of genetically modified corn in Europe.
Four member states abstained, while only five approved the crop, but because of the EU’s weighted voting system the European Commission is now obliged to pass it.
“If there is no negative qualified majority against the proposal then the Commission not may, but shall, adopt the proposal,” said the Health and Consumer Policy Commissioner Tonio Borg.
Germany’s Greens were furious at their country’s abstention, as a “no” vote there would have made all the difference.
“Today the Federal government missed an historic opportunity to be a clear voice against genetic engineering in Europe. The approval of genetically modified maize on European soil puts genetically modified food on consumer’s plates. Almost all Germans oppose that,” said the Green’s Simone Peter.
Several GMO crops are already grown in Europe, while others have been refused or withdrawn by their companies, citing consumer resistance to buying the product.