A European panel of scientific experts is to vote this week on whether to approve an application by US biotech giant Monsanto to sell a type of genetically modified maize in the EU.

The EU's Standing Committee on the Food Chain and Animal Health is to vote on Monsanto's application for NK603, a type of maize that has been genetically modified to resist Monsanto's Roundup herbicide. If approved the maize could be used in food processing, but not for cultivation in the EU, reported Dow Jones International News.

Earlier this week EU agriculture ministers failed to agree on a similar application by Swiss biotech firm Syngenta for its Bt-11 corn. The matter will now go before the European Commission, which is likely to approve the corn.