No deal reached on GM crop bans

11 June 2012

Proposed new regulation giving countries greater rights to ban genetically modified (GM) crops did not get agreement from Environment Ministers meeting in Luxembourg today.

Friends of the Earth Europe supports stronger rights for individual countries and regions to ban GM crops.

However the group is critical of the proposal submitted to ministers which was vague, lacked strong legal grounds for bans, and proposed that countries ask biotech companies for permission to impose bans.

Mute Schimpf, food campaigner for Friends of the Earth Europe said: “This proposal was not legally sound and ministers are right to reject it. The draft law on the table was not up to the task of protecting farmers, consumers and the environment from the threat of GM crops. Until every region and country has legally sound rights to ban GM crops, no new GM crops should be allowed to be grown in Europe.”

Friends of the Earth Europe is calling for upcoming EU presidencies to significantly improve the proposal currently on the table to give regions and countries real rights to ban GMO cultivation.

Mute Schimpf said: “For 15 years national governments have rejected the authorisation of new GMOs and defended their rights to ban them. By disagreeing over a legally weak draft law ministers are not giving the green light to Commissioner Dalli to authorise new GM crops in the meantime. Governments accept there are substantial gaps in existing GMO law, particularly about how safety is checked and who is liable for contamination in the food sector.”