New European Law on Planting GM Crops

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  • Published: 16 January 2015
  • Copyright: Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA
  • Source / Publisher: European Parliament
thumbnail image: New European Law on Planting GM Crops

Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) have passed a law that will allow EU member states to restrict or ban the cultivation of genetically modified (GM) crops on their own territory, even if this is allowed at EU level. The legislation was informally agreed by Parliament and Council in December, and will come into force in spring of 2015. Originally it was tabled in 2010, but was then deadlocked for four years due to disagreement between pro- and anti-genetically modified organism (GMO) member states.

Member states could ban GMO crops because of environmental policy grounds other than the risks to health and the environment already assessed by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), including town and country planning requirements, socio-economic impact, avoiding the unintended presence of GMOs in other product, and farm policy objectives. Bans could also include groups of GMOs designated by crop or trait.

Currently, Monsanto MON810 maize is the only GM crop cultivated in the EU. The "Amflora" GM potato was banned by the EU General Court in 2013 after an initial green light from the European Commission.

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