Brussels, 27 January 2016 – Today, the Standing Committee on Plants, Animals, Food and Feed voted 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. EU governments failed to achieve the necessary majority to authorize them.
Ursula Hudson, member of Slow Food’s Executive Committee and President of Slow Food Germany: “Time and again there is insufficient support for GMOs in Europe, as the vote today shows. Last year 17 European countries said a clear no to the cultivation of genetically modified crops, banning them in their own territories. Some of them – such as Greece, Italy and the Netherlands – have voted today in favor of authorization at the European level, retaining for themselves the possibility to ban these substances within their own borders: pure hypocrisy. Our decision makers should once and for all come to terms with the fact that no one really wants GMOs in Europe, stop authorizing them, and start discussing the real issues: how to develop thriving rural economies and healthy food systems whilst meeting the commitments of the Paris agreement and of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.”
Slow Food firmly believes GMOs are a threat to the survival of biodiversity and to the well being of rural communities and citizens: “Transgenic agriculture is the last gasp of an agricultural, economic and political system that is increasingly depriving farmers of their means of production. At the same time, it is increasingly concentrating control over food in the hands of multinationals. With GMOs, we are heading towards an increasingly forced industrialization of agriculture, in which crops that have no historic, cultural or gastronomic link with the land and the people who live on it pose a growing threat to the survival of traditional seeds and even rural communities themselves.”
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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.