The European Commission (EU) has announced its plans to reopen the debate on a draft legislation that would allow each Member State to choose whether to grant or refuse permission to cultivate genetically modified organisms (GMOs) on their own territory. The draft law, which must be approved by a majority of governments and the European Parliament before becoming law, was submitted by the Commission in 2010 but blocked by France, Germany and Britain.
In the statement issued last week, the EC said that was not planning to proceed with the pending approval of several new GM crops in the immediate future, but first wants an agreement on the draft legislation. “We are going to discuss the issue with the three governments to see if we can reopen negotiations on the proposals,” said Frederic Vincent, spokesman for EU Health Commissioner Tonio Borg last week. Currently, EU rules state that any GM crop approved for cultivation can be grown anywhere inside the bloc, unless countries have specific scientific reasons for banning their cultivation.
Only two GM crops have been approved for cultivation in Europe to date, and many consumer and environmental groups are vocal in their opposition. Seven crops are currently waiting approval for cultivation on the continent, developed by agri-giants Monsanto, Dow AgroSciences, and Syngenta.
Source: GM Watch