BRUSSELS, July 26 (Xinhua) -- The European Commission on Friday authorized nine genetically modified (GM) products for food and feed uses and one as ornamental cut flower.
Among the authorized are cotton, maize, soybean, oilseed rape and carnation, which the European Union's executive arm said "have gone through a comprehensive authorization procedure, including a favorable scientific assessment by the European Food Safety Authority."
The authorization, valid for 10 years, doesn't cover cultivation of these products in the EU, which has traditionally been conservative in terms of genetically modified products. The products would also be subject to the bloc's labelling and traceability rules.
Genetic modification means that organisms such as plants, animals or microorganisms in which the genetic material (DNA) has been altered in a way that does not occur naturally.
Different GM organisms include different genes inserted in different ways. This means that individual GM foods and their safety should be assessed on a case-by-case basis and that it is not possible to make general statements on the safety of all GM foods.
GM products are developed because of their advantage either to the producer or consumer of these products, for example in having more nutrition in them or better resistance against insects.
The World Health Organization says that "GM foods currently available on the international market have passed safety assessments and are not likely to present risks for human health. In addition, no effects on human health have been shown as a result of the consumption of such foods by the general population in the countries where they have been approved."