On March 27, 2017 the European governments sitting on the Appeal Committee will decide on the authorization of two new genetically modified (GM) maize varieties for cultivation in the European Union – Pioneer’s 1507 and Syngenta’s Bt11 – as well as the renewal of authorization for MON 810.
On last January 27 the necessary qualified majority was not achieved to adopt a final decision on the three authorizations. On that occasion, some European states that have banned the cultivation of GMOs in their territory – including Italy, Lithuania and the Netherlands – voted in favor of the authorization at the European level.
According to Slow Food, banning GMOs on its territory and voting in favor of their authorization on the rest of Europe is a hypocrisy. Representatives of EU countries should once and for all come to terms with the fact that citizens do not want GMOs in Europe, stop arguing about their possible authorization and focus instead on solving the real challenges of the European food system: the abandonment of the countryside, the disappearance of numerous farms, the loss of food biodiversity in fields and on our tables, the pollution of water, air and soil caused by industrial agriculture, and so on. GMOs would not give us an answer to any of these problems.
Slow Food launches an appeal for the next vote scheduled for March 27 to call on the EU governments to reiterate a clear No to GMOs, thus respecting the wish expressed several times by European citizens.
To strengthen this appeal to our decision makers, Slow Food has written a document stating its official position on genetically modified organisms, analyzing the problems related to the use of these crops in terms of denial of the right to food, the risks to the environment, the concerns for the health of humans and animals and the role of research.
For Slow Food, genetically modified organisms are the extreme point of an agricultural, economic and political system that is increasingly concentrating power in the hands of a few, not only benefitting corporations but also harming rural communities and consumers as well as the environment and biodiversity.
Slow Food’s position paper on genetically modified organisms is available here.
Notes to the Editor
According to the new Regulation 2015/412 on the cultivation of GMOs in Europe, if authorization of GM products in Europe is successfully voted, each state is free to choose whether or not to cultivate GM crops on its territory. If the member states at the March vote should authorize GMOs in Europe, retaining for themselves the possibility to ban these substances within their own borders, a number of new requests for authorization of GMOs might follow.
For further information, please contact:
Slow Food International Press Office
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Slow Food is a global grassroots organization that envisions a world in which all people can access and enjoy food that is good for them, good for those who grow it and good for the planet. Slow Food involves over a million activists, chefs, experts, youth, farmers, fishers and academics in over 160 countries. Among them, a network of around 100,000 Slow Food members are linked to 1,500 local chapters worldwide, contributing through their membership fee, as well as the events and campaigns they organize. As part of the network, more than 2,400 Terra Madre food communities practice small-scale and sustainable production of quality food around the world.