Outright rejection of genetically modified (GM) crops is snowballing across Europe, as governments or regions from at least 10 European countries, with more to follow by Saturday, take political steps to ensure their countries are GM-free.
The European Commission is bowing to pressure from large biotech companies to minimise the level of health and safety checks on imports of genetically modified (GM) crops, Friends of the Earth Europe has learned.
Friends of the Earth Europe has today strongly criticised the European Commission's new proposal for regulating genetically modified foods and feed, calling it an empty offer that does nothing to protect citizens or governments. The environment group accused President Juncker of breaking his promise to make decision-making more democratic and acting as if the controversial TTIP EU-US trade deal was already in place.
Mute Schimpf, food campaigner for Friends of the Earth Europe, said:
A leaked proposal from the European Commission for changes to regulation of genetically modified food and feed has been met with heavy criticism today. The proposal promises to empower governments to ban GM food and feed, but doesn't provide the legal grounds for them to do so. Food campaigners are concerned that any ban enacted under this proposed law would be legally flawed and open to challenge from biotech companies.
The European Food Safety Authority has started an investigation into the safety of growing genetically modified (GM) maize in Europe following the publication of the biggest study on maize pollen published to date. Friends of the Earth Europe and Testbiotech have called on the EU to immediately suspend the growing of GM maize and to stop all future approvals.
European governments today voted on a new law that grants them extra powers to ban the cultivation of genetically modified (GM) crops in their territories.  Friends of the Earth Europe is calling on them to immediately ban all GM maize crops – the only category of GM crop currently in the pipeline for cultivation in Europe.
The European Parliament today voted to grant national governments new powers to ban the cultivation of genetically modified (GM) crops in their territories. Today's decision by the European Parliament for the first time allows governments to ban entire categories of GM crops.
After intense negotiations, the European Parliament and national governments this month found a compromise on new rights for governments to constrain or prohibit genetically modified (GM) crops within their borders. The proposal has enormous public support across Europe.
Real rights for countries to ban genetically modified crops are a step closer today after a committee of MEPs voted to close major loopholes in proposed legislation.
The environment committee of the European Parliament voted to support stronger legal grounds for national governments to impose bans on the cultivation of GM crops on their territory. Importantly, MEPs also voted against giving biotech companies a role in decision-making about GM crop bans.