In an effort to break the EU deadlock over GMOs which has seen just two GM crops authorised in the last 12 years, the European Commission is now proposing to allow Member States to opt out of community decisions on GMOs meaning that indivual countries could still ban GM crops authorised by the EU.
John Dalli, the EU Commissioner for Health and Consumer Policy told a press conference:
“I don’t expect countries to change their voting patterns just because now we have put in these considerations. Naturally what countries decide is up to the countries themselves.”
But activists, including Jose Bove, are up in arms at the proposals. They say that due to natural contamination it is not feasible to ban a crop in one Member State and not in another.
Stefanie Hundsdorfer of Greenpeace told Euronews: “Greenpeace thinks that the Commission’s proposal is a dangerous move to get more GM crops authorised in Europe. In exchange for a national right to ban, the Commission asks Member States not to make a fuss and to wave through GMO crop authorisation in Europe. The Commission President Baroso is pro-GM and he has cooked up this deal to break a block in the authorisation system for GMO crops in Europe.”
The proposals will now be examined by EU governments and if approved could lead to increased planting of GM crops in pro-GM countries like Spain and the Czech Republic.
The proposals will now be examined by EU governments and if approved, could lead to more GM crops being grown in pro-GM countries like Spain and the Czech Republic.