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Monday, 01 December 2014

GMOs in Europe: each Member State to act as it pleases

It is to be easier to gain authorisation for the cultivation of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) within the European Union. Representatives responsible for environmental matters have adopted a draft text which will permit a Member State which disagrees with GMOs to ban them on its territory even though they have been authorised at European level. Paradoxically, it is this very power to ban at the national level which will stimulate the cultivation of GMOs. The current situation is that Member States have failed to reach an agreement on whether to permit or prohibit the cultivation of GMOs on European soil.

Under European law, the Commission has the power to make the decision, but has so far refused to do so. The problem is that the European Court has ordered the Union to give a positive or negative response to the companies which have lodged an application. The Commission has therefore suggested a compromise to resolve the situation. Member States will agree to the cultivation of GMOs on European soil, but reject it in their own territories on an individual basis. In order to justify such a ban they must explain that the geology, the geography, winds and water tables and so on are such that GMOs cannot be cultivated safely.

Source: rtbf.be