EU: Member states still reject GM agriculture
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At the end of March IFOAM EU published a press statement explaining the rejection by the EU member states of GMO for the second time this year. They voted against authorising two new crops and the renewal of the licence for the only GM crop currently approved for cultivation in the EU. The organic farming movement is calling on the Commission to withdraw these proposals.
The director of IFOAM EU took the vote as evidence that the majority of member states do not want GM cultivation in the EU. Also, since many members of the public in EU countries decidedly oppose GMOs, it is time to abandon the proposals. IFOAM EU argues that the fact the organic market is experiencing strong growth is evidence of the direction of travel people in Europe want to see in agriculture. For IFOAM EU there is no need for GM crops and, if they are permitted, it anticipates only problems and costs for both the conventional and organic sectors. With GMOs banned in organic farming, any GM cultivation increases the risk of contamination of organic crops. GM crops also need the use of chemical herbicides, which are also banned in organic agriculture.
With the final decision resting with the Commission, if it decides to ignore the vote and permits authorisation it will be seen as another indication that GMO authorisation procedures will have to be reformed.