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Thursday, 29 October 2015

EU lawmakers reject national bans on GM food

Members of the European Parliament voted 557 to 75 against the Commission proposal to allow member states to decide on a national basis whether or not to import Genetically Modified Organisms for use in food and animal feed. Ironically, the step was welcomed by the GM industry and green activists alike, albeit for different reasons. Green politicians say the Commission's proposal would have facilitated GM authorisations, while the biotech industry said the rejection of the Commission's "patchwork proposal" was positive. The outcome reflects a matter of principle ― allowing member states to ban GMO products would mean erecting barriers within the EU's single market of.

MEP Giovanni La Via who chairs parliament's environment committee said, "Today's vote gave a clear signal to the European Commission. This proposal could turn on its head what has been achieved with the single market and the customs union." Health Commissioner Vytenis Andriukaitis said in a statement that Europe found itself in a "very paradoxical situation", as EU citizens were sceptical about GMOs, while livestock producers were dependent on GM feed imports for their animals. Today, only one GM crop is cultivated in the EU – Monsanto's MON 810 GM maize has been bio-engineered to protect against pest – 90% of production takes place in Spain. Additionally, 58 GMOs are authorised for import into the EU for food and feed uses.

Source: euractiv.com