Some good news for the end of the week. Yesterday, in the run-up to the next European Environment Council meeting, the Agriculture Commission of the Italian Chamber of Deputies has, with the Italian government’s support, unanimously approved a resolution that will oblige the government to take action in Brussels to “give individual EU states greater autonomy regarding GMOs, with the possibility of establishing GMO-free zones; reducing the threshold of tolerance for the accidental presence of GMOs in foods, in line with European organic agriculture trends; dedicating more resources towards scientific research in agriculture and, finally, saying no to the introduction of genetically modified 1507 maize,” according to Giorgio Zanin, a PD deputy who promoted one of the resolutions contained in the joint document.
Slow Food is naturally very happy about this unanimous vote from the Agriculture Commission and the Italian government’s favourable opinion. “It’s an important sign that shows how all the parliamentary groups are converging to support an agriculture that prioritizes quality and biodiversity and a truly GMO-free agriculture,” said Susanna Cenni, a PD deputy and national spokesperson for Ecodem.
Roberto Burdese, the president of Slow Food Italy, said: “Our hope is that this resolution can reach Europe and become a reference point for the whole of the EU, perhaps even inspiring the work to be done during the semester of Italy’s presidency. Now more than ever, in light of this vote and the significance of these proposals, it has become essential to stop every sowing of GMOs in Italy and above all to stop the process started by the Friuli-Venezia Giulia Regional Authority regarding coexistence regulations. It would be contradictory if on the one hand we have statements like this resolution, and on the other one regional authority is making a breakaway move. We are against the use of GMOs in agriculture, but we recognize the complexity of the situation. If our country should one day open itself to GM crops (something we hope never happens), at least it should be following a process of debate and discussion shared by all the regions, and not something carried ahead by one region on its own!”