Commission and Council must heed MEPs on GM crop bans, say NGOs

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.

Food Technology, Genetic Modification, Policy

MEPs reject biotech company say on national GMO bans

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.

Food Technology, Genetic Modification, Policy

ENVI delays vote on GMO bans to help gain compromise

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.

Food Technology, Genetic Modification

EFSA consults on draft guidance for renewal of GM approvals

The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) said on  4 November that it is launching a public consultation on its new draft guidance that defines the information to be included in applications for the renewal of authorisations of genetically modified (GM) food and feed.

Food Technology, Genetic Modification

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).

MEPs are reluctant to grant biotech firms a say in national bans on EU-approved genetically modified organisms it became clear during a European Parliament discussion this week.

A cross-party selection of MEPs agreed this week that strict co-existence rules are needed at EU level to enable member states to introduce effective national opt-outs and bans on cultivation of genetically modified organisms.

The NGO Friends of the Earth Europe has raised concern that the EU has allowed low levels of GMO contamination in food and seed under the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) between the EU and Canada. They say a similar deal wih the US – the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) – will act as a “Trojan Horse” for more GM food to enter Europe.

The anti-biotech camp appears to have a supporter in Commissioner-designate Vytenis Andriukaitis who at his 30 September parliamentary hearing hit out at the effects genetically modified organisms had on biodiversity.

The European Commission says that it can accept the latest proposals to give EU member states the right to ban EU-approved genetically modified (GM) crops. In a paper prepared for the European Parliament, the Commission outlines its views on the amendments put forward by EU Ministers in July and on changes proposed by Parliament in 2011, Agrow reports.

The EU should take “more targeted” action to prevent the uncontrolled spread of genetically modified insects, German NGO Testbiotech has said.

A review of EU rules on genetically modified organisms should occur within six months of the new European Commission taking office on November 1, according to the recently elected president of the European Commission.

The Commission appears to be hesitating about its potential new role as go-between in talks between biotech firms and Member States over national opt-outs from cultivating EU-authorised  genetically modified organisms, it emerged this week.