EU GMO ban will “have little impact”, says Monsanto

The EU Council’s decision to allow individual member states to ban the cultivation of EU-approved GM crops on their own territories won’t change much, US seed company Monsanto has said. In a blog prior to last Monday’s vote, the company said it expected some non-governmental organisations to paint this as a “victory” for Monsanto and other companies that sell GM seeds in Europe and other parts of the world. “Some will even say that we will begin selling GM seeds in EU countries where they haven’t previously been planted as soon as next year. This is rubbish,” the company states.

Food Technology, Genetic Modification, Food Safety & Standards, Legislation

Council adopts GMO-banning law

The EU Council formally adopted new rules on March 2 allowing individual Member States to ban or restrict the cultivation of EU-approved genetically modified organisms (GMOs) on their territory, a move criticised by industry but welcomed by environmentalists.

Food Technology, Genetic Modification, Food Safety & Standards, Policy, Environment

Still illegal to sell GM foods in Norway

The Norwegian climate and environment ministry has not actively banned two types of genetically modified maize approved in the EU, but there are limitations in place. The maize types currently cannot be grown in Norway or sold as food.

Labelling, GM, Food Technology, Genetic Modification, Country Reports

EuropaBio slams “licence to ban safe GM crops”

Biotech industry association EuropaBio has hit out at the future directive that would allow Member States to ban cultivation of EU approved genetically modified organisms following the European Parliament’s 13 January vote in favour.

Food Technology, Genetic Modification

The European Parliament’s plenary on 13 January voted to approve a law that will allow individual Member States to ban cultivation of EU-approved genetically modified organisms on their territories.

On January 13, the European Parliament is due to debate then vote on the directive that would allow Member States to ban cultivation of genetically modified organisms on their territories even when the crop is authorised at EU level.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.”