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.
Friends of the Earth Europe had warned that a weak 'poisoned chalice' agreement could give unprecedented power to biotech companies.
Mute Schimpf, food campaigner for Friends of the Earth Europe, said: "The right for European states to legally ban genetically modified crops has taken a major step forward, without the interference of big companies with vested interests. Parliamentarians sided with the majority of European citizens who are concerned about GM crops and voted for better EU laws to protect the environment and promote genuinely sustainable farming."
In the coming weeks the Parliament, Council and European Commission will negotiate to find a joint position, with a final vote expected in January.