The European Union has approved 19 genetically modified organisms (GMOs), including maize, soybeans, cotton and rapeseed, for 10-year authorizations. Most of the newly approved products will be used for animal feed.
The companies producing the new lines include Monsanto, DuPont, Bayer and BASF.
"All the GMOs approved today have been proved to be safe before their placing on the EU market," the European Commission said in a statement.
The approvals are the first since November 2013, and come after a proposal to change the rules on GM approval, allowing individual countries to restrict or prohibit GM imports even after they have been approved by the bloc as a whole.
That proposal has angered those on both sides of the GM issue.
GM advocates, such as the United States government, have said the proposal amounts to a trade restriction and a hindrance to talks towards a planned EU-U.S. free trade deal.
Opponents of GM products say the change does not provide the legal grounds for national governments to opt out and will in practice lead to a flood of new approvals.
The newly approved products will be added to the existing list of 58 GM crops authorized in the European Union.
The approval only covers imports, not cultivation. Only one GM crop, Monsanto’s maize MON810, is grown in Europe — in Spain and Portugal.
EU clears 19 genetically modified products (AFP)
EU approves first new genetically modified crops since 2013