EU governments will decide on Friday whether to approve the first genetically modified crops in 19 years, against a background of widespread opposition from farmers and the wider public. 
Two untested varieties of genetically modified (GM) maize could find their way on to European fields with potentially negative impacts on nature, according to Friends of the Earth Europe.
Reacting to Bayer's reported takeover of Monsanto, Adrian Bebb, senior food and farming campaigner at Friends of the Earth Europe, said "Bayer's buyout of Monsanto is a marriage made in hell, which threatens to further lock in industrialised agriculture at the expense of nature, farmers and the wider public. While public support for local and greener food continues to boom, this mega corporation will be doing its best to force damaging pesticides and GM seeds into our countryside."
EU Member States today postponed a vote on relicensing glyphosate in Europe. Friends of the Earth Europe is calling for an outright ban on the controversial weedkiller, which would transform European agriculture making it greener and publicly acceptable .
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.
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.