Key parliamentary committee backs GMO-banning deal

The European Parliament’s Environment, Public Health and Food Safety Committee has approved the 3 December agreement on a future directive allowing Member States to ban the cultivation of genetically modified organisms on their territories, even if authorised at EU level.

Food Technology, Genetic Modification

Member States back GMO banning deal

EU Member States have given the go ahead to a deal that the Italian Presidency struck with European Parliament and Commission representatives last week, allowing them to ban cultivation of genetically modified organisms on their territories.

Food Technology, Genetic Modification

Calls for mandatory GM labels “based on emotion not science”

Critics of mandatory labels for genetically modified foods found a sympathetic audience at a House hearing on Wednesday, as both Republicans and Democrats on the panel voiced scepticism of the need for the federal government to require such labels.

Labelling, GM, Food Technology, Genetic Modification, Americas

EU GMO cultivation deal “very dangerous” says Spanish tech group

Spain’s Antama Foundation, a Madrid-based non-profit organization that promotes development of new technologies applied to agriculture, has warned against at any new European regulations that would allow bans on genetically modified organisms (GMOs) for ideological or political reasons, instead of relying exclusively on scientific evidence.

Food Technology, Genetic Modification, Spain

The head of the European Food Safety Authority Bernhard Url has said that risk assessment of genetically modified organisms should not be renationalised under future changes to EU law.

The future EU law renationalising authorisation to cultivate genetically modified organisms will not lure Monsanto back to seeking approvals for its biotech products in the handful of Member States open to the technology, the company’s new President Europe & Middle East Leticia Goncalves told reporters on 4 November.

Council and European Parliament representatives have struck a compromise deal on a future directive allowing Member States to ban cultivation of EU-approved genetically modified organisms (GMOs).

Food & Water Europe has published what it calls a “damning critique of the so-called scientific ‘consensus’ surrounding GM [genetically modified] food and crops,” saying that it “exposes the biotech industry’s role in massaging facts to support its products.”

Green campaign groups have overwhelmingly backed the 11 November vote in the European Parliament’s Environment, Public Health and Food Safety Committee on the right for member states to ban EU-approved genetically modified organisms, with the message now that the Council and Commission must take notice of the MEPs.

MEPs are heading for a clash with Member States after voting to reject the Council’s plan to have biotech firms consulted in the first of a two-phase procedure to allow national bans of EU-approved genetically modified organisms from cultivation on their soils.

The European Parliament’s Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (ENVI) Committee postponed a scheduled 5 November vote on proposals to allow Member States to ban cultivation of EU authorised genetically modified organisms (GMOs) until next Tuesday to allow time to clinch a compromise deal between political groups.

The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) said on  4 November that it is launching a public consultation on its new draft guidance that defines the information to be included in applications for the renewal of authorisations of genetically modified (GM) food and feed.

A series of amendments on which MEPs are to vote on 5 November would limit the role that biotech companies play in permitting future national opt outs from EU authorisations to cultivate genetically modified organisms, a role the firms themselves are unhappy about.

The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has issued an explanatory statement showing firms how to comply with EU requirements for 90-day feeding studies on genetically modified organisms (GMOs).