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Governments fail to agree law on bans.
 12.03.2012 00:30:08
Governments fail to agree law on bans

Brussels, March 9 - The European Union could face a barrage of new genetically modified (GM) crops following the failure today by environment ministers to reach an agreement on new rights for countries to ban GM cultivation, claims Friends of the Earth Europe.

With six applications [1] to grow new GM crops in the pipeline, the pro-biotech Health and Consumer Commissioner John Dalli could now proceed with their authorisations, despite their unpopularity with consumers and concerns over their safety.

Mute Schimpf, food campaigner at Friends of the Earth Europe said: "European governments missed an excellent opportunity to close the door on genetically modified crops. Their failure creates a real danger that GM crops could now be authorised without any strong legal protection for those countries which want to ban them. Politicians need to listen to public opinion which is overwhelmingly opposed to GMOs." [2]

Friends of the Earth Europe supports stronger rights for individual countries and regions to ban GM crops but was critical of the proposal that was submitted to ministers as it proposed that countries ask biotech companies for permission to impose bans. [3] Other options in the proposal were vague and failed to give any strong legal backing for bans.


[1] Overview pending traits:
Maize Bt11 with glufosinate and insect resistance from Syngenta
Maize Mon810 with insect resistance from Monsanto
Maize 1507 from with glufosinate and insect resistance Dow/Pioneer
Maize Nk 603 glyphosate resistance from Monsanto
GA21 glyphosate resistance from Syngenta
Mon88017 glyphosate and insect resistance from Monsanto

[2] The proposal suggests that Member States need the consent of the GM industry to exclude their country from authorisation requests for GM crops.

[3] Popular opposition to GMOs in the EU has increased to 66% in last 5 years. Eurobarometer 354, 2010, http://www.efsa.europa.eu/en/factsheet/docs/reporten.pdf


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