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Tuesday, 16 September 2014

GMO lobby sees new Juncker Commission as bad news

The Juncker Commission has promised to be “more political” than its predecessor, something GMO backers see as a negative development for the approval of genetically modified crops in Europe.

“We believe this will not be positive,” said André Goig, chairman of EuropaBio, the European association of bioindustries, referring to the announcement of the new European Commission.

Goig, who is also regional Director for Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) at Syngenta AG, was speaking in Brussels on Thursday (11 September), one day after Juncker presented his new team, promising a more effective and “political” decision-making process for the European Commission.

But for GMO backers, more politics is bad news in the face of national bans imposed by some member states in reaction to widespread public opposition to GM crops.

At issue is a legislative proposal by the Commission which aims to break the deadlock on GMO approvals in Europe by formally allowing EU countries to opt-out from the Europe-wide approval system.

The proposal, which was backed by the EU’s 28 environment ministers in June 2014, gives back “full responsibility” to member states over the cultivation of GMOs on their territory.

“It seems to us absurd that the EU now introduces new rules that will make it even harder to cultivate GM crops. Is there any need to change the legislation after all? Europe has already the most stringent regulatory system in the world,” Goig said.

Source: Euractiv.com