Civil society calls on parliament for real rights to ban GM crops

1 September 2014

Friends of the Earth Europe and other campaign groups today called on members of the European Parliament to back citizens' demands for improved rules to prohibit the cultivation of genetically modified (GM) crops.

A letter signed by Friends of the Earth and four other environment, consumers and farmers groups was sent to all members of the parliament's environment committee, which will debate this controversial issue later in the week.

A draft new law is being promoted as a way to grant national governments more flexibility to decide whether they wish to cultivate GM crops on their territories.

But the law is highly problematic and would grant biotech companies, including Monsanto and Syngenta, unprecedented power over decisions on whether to ban GM crops.

The letter states:

"The European Parliament will be discussing the position recently adopted by the Council, which in our view grants excessive influence to the few multinational companies producing GM crops, while ignoring the interests of EU citizens and farmers. If left un-amended, the Council proposal will lead to less scrutiny on the health and environmental impacts of GMOs and will not provide member states with legally solid reasons to justify National restrictions of GM cultivation, allowing biotech companies to easily challenge national bans in court."

Friends of the Earth Europe is calling for national governments to be given genuine powers to keep their fields GM-free and to protect consumer choice. It calls on the newly-elected parliament to take into account the wishes of EU citizens and reject GMOs in Europe.