On November 11, the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety will vote on the draft recommendation for second reading on the possibility for member states to restrict or prohibit the cultivation of GMOs in their territory (2010/0208 (COD)).
Greenpeace, Friends of the Earth Europe, Corporate Europe Observatory, the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements and Slow Food have urged the Committee to adopt solid legal rights in the case and to not follow the position adopted by the Council in June this year, which creates a system for the prohibition of GM cultivation at national level that is legally flawed, cumbersome and limited in time, while giving biotech companies an official role in the decision-making process, further limiting countries’ right to prohibit the cultivation of GM crops in their territory.
According to founder and president of Slow Food Carlo Petrini, “EU citizens want food policies in Europe to be based on the preservation of food biodiversity (plant varieties, native livestock breeds, artisanal foods) and on giving value to small-scale producers. They demand more and more transparency in order to have the possibility to choose what they eat and to benefit from food sovereignty. This is why we promote the ban on the cultivation of any GM crops in Europe”.
Slow Food and the abovementioned partner organizations voiced the following demands in a letter sent out on November 5 to the members of the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety, hoping that the European Parliament will improve the law by deciding on amendments that will enable member states to ban GM crops for environmental purposes and to avoid contamination of organic and conventional GMO-free agriculture:
– Allow member states to take individual decisions based on specific national and local considerations.
– Remove any formal role of biotech companies in the decision-making process.
– Grant member states the right to restrict the cultivation of all GMOs or group of GMOs defined by crop or trait.
– Reintroduce environmental impacts as grounds that member states can use to justify national bans.
– Reject the two-year deadline limiting member states’ right to ban.
– Require member states to adopt coexistence measures to prevent the unintended presence of GMOs in other products in their territory as well as in border areas.
– Require member states to put in place liability rules for operators producing and growing GMOs, to ensure adequate compensation for farmers and processors suffering economic losses due to GM contamination.
– Reject attempts to allow the contamination of all seeds by GMOs. GMO-free seeds are a pre- condition to guarantee the possibility and economic viability of a GMO-free agriculture in the future.
For more in-depth information on the demands, please read the attached letter in English.
For further information, please contact the Slow Food International Press Office:
Paola Nano, +39 329 8321285 [email protected]
Slow Food involves millions of people dedicated to and passionate about good, clean and fair food. This includes chefs, youth, activists, farmers, fishers, experts and academics in over 150 countries; a network of around 100,000 Slow Food members linked to 1,500 local chapters worldwide (known as convivia), contributing through their membership fee, as well as the events and campaigns they organize; and 2,000 Terra Madre food communities who practice small-scale and sustainable production of quality food around the world.