The European Commission gave its approval for the first genetically modified seeds for commercial planting on the continent, but rejected a plan to set thresholds for GM content in conventional seeds. The decision means 17 varieties of maize seed developed by Monsanto will be allowed to be grown in EU countries, based on commissioner determinations that the seeds are safe. The maize is to be labeled as GM, but critics urged individual EU countries to legislate safeguards against the seeds.

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