Greenpeace has taken its objections over genetically modified food to the European Commission’s door in Brussels.The anti-GMO NGO presented the Health Commissioner with a 180,000 signature petition calling for the EU to refuse the authorisation of GM rice made by German chemical giant Bayer. The Commissioner insisted that health and environmental safety was her priority. Marco Contiero, Greenpeace’s EU GMO policy director, told reporters: “We want politicians to understand that, first there are serious social, economic, environmental and health damages that GMO causes to farmers and their livelihood and there are also exceptional benefits from ecological forms of agriculture.” Health Commissioner Vassiliou responded by saying: “If I have any doubt at any time about the reliability and the authenticity of this scientific opinon or if new evidence is given to me, then I have no hesitation. You must be assured that I will refer it back to EFSA (European Food Safety Authority) for additional information, for additional elements, to strengthen their opinion. We have done that with rice.” Next Monday, the European Commission will ask EU farming ministers to give the green light to the trade of several varieties of genetically modified maize. But suggestions that GM crops contaminate biofood crops are putting pressure on ministries to resist.
GMO protestors give Brussels food for thought.