The European Union has failed to agree on whether or not to lift its five-year moratorium on biotech foods, and a decision could be a further 90 days away.

Experts from EU member states were split 6-6 with three abstentions on whether to allow the sale of Bt-11, a strain of genetically modified sweetcorn developed by Swiss firm Syngenta, reported Dow Jones International News.

Finland, Ireland, the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden and the UK voted in favour of approving the product, while Austria, Denmark, France, Greece, Luxembourg and Portugal voted against it. Belgium, Germany and Italy abstained.

The tied vote means that Syngenta's application will now be sent to EU agriculture ministers, who will have a further 90 days to consider it.