One of the Monsanto maizes agriculture minsiters were considering (see below) was MON863 - the one that a feeding study on rats, which Monsanto refused to publish until forced to do so by the German courts, showed caused significant changes in factors such as levels of white blood cells, kidney weights and kidney structure. Scientific opinions obtained by Greenpeace after the full feeding report was released indicate that MON863 has the potential to damage rats' health. Other studies criticised the methodology. However, as usual, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) pronounced it had no concerns.

EU ministers clash over modified Monsanto maize
Reuters, 24 October 2005

LUXEMBOURG (Reuters) - EU agriculture ministers clashed on Monday over approving two genetically modified (GMO) maize types, failing to agree over allowing imports and again revealing their differences over biotech foods, officials said.

The two maize types are both made by U.S. biotech giant Monsanto. Neither requested use was for growing.

In a separate vote, the ministers also failed to secure a majority either to approve or reject a draft order for Greece to lift a ban on planting seeds of another Monsanto GMO maize.

Last year, the European Union authorized 17 different Monsanto maize seed strains from an parent crop for planting and sale across EU territory, flying in the face of widespread consumer resistance to GMO crops and foods.

EU law provides for countries to decide whether to allow such seeds on national territory, and Greece used this provision in early 2005 [to block it]. Under EU law, this means that the European Commission can now be expected to issue this order itself -- a move that usually takes place within a few weeks.