DEAR SIR: A new insect-resistant maize, developed jointly by DuPont and Dow Chemical, was considered for approval by the EU’s General Affairs Council. But European Union ministers failed to reach agreement and refused to permit the cultivation of a new type of genetically modified maize. Now the final decision resides with the European Commission.

France opposed the measure, Britain supported it and Germany abstained in the vote. Supporters of the crop contend the insect-resistant maize would reduce the need for certain pesticides, but environmentalists argue it is harmful to wildlife. US multinational Monsanto currently has a monopoly in Europe’s small market for GM crops.