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EU looks to unblock GMO crop proposal


brussels bureau

EU looks to unblock GMO crop proposal

The European Commission wants national governments to back its proposal approving the cultivation of a new type genetically modified corn.

It says the European Food Safety Authority has given the corn – TC1507 – a clean bill of health.

Environmentialists still have concerns that the crop is not safe.

Marco Contiero of Greenpeace told Euronews that Brussels “is acting irresponsibly”.

“(This crop) has proven impacts on important insects, like butterfly and moth; for which there is no scientific evidence on the impact on pollinators, like bees – and which will encourage the use of an herbicide, which is so toxic that it is the process of being phased out in Europe,” he said.

Judges at the European Court of Justice last month ruled the EU executive’s approval process took too long.

The manufacturers of TC1507 had first lodged an application 12 years ago.

In a gesture to anti-GMO governments, Brussels has also revived the idea of allowing member states to decide individually whether to ban or restrict GMO cultivation.

“This proposal would allow member states to restrict or prohibit cultivation of GMOs on thier territories on grounds other than those related to risks, to health and to the environment,” said EU Health Commissioner Tonio Borg.

EU rules say the Commission is obliged to approve cultivation by the end of the year, unless a weighted majority of governments vote against it.

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