The European Commission has rejected claims from the European Parliament's Green group that the EU's authorisation process for genetically modified organisms is undemocratic.

The Greens have criticised the ending of Europe's de facto freeze on GM market approvals via the so-called 'comotology' procedure. This allowed the Commission to approve sales of GM maize, when the EU Council of Ministers could not reach a decision.

In a letter, the Greens said: "The fact that the Commission can make such decisions (without) Council agreement and the backing of the Parliament is incompatible with the democratic ideals promoted by the EU."

The Commission said involving MEPs and ministers would unnecessarily delay such "technical decisions".