Campaigners opposed to genetically modified crops have collected one million signatures on a petition calling for a GM-free Europe.

The petition, led by Greenpeace, was launched in March 2010 after the commission approved a GM potato for cultivation. It was the first such approval for 12 years.

The Amflora potato had been modified to increase the starch content.

The trait was marked using an antibiotic resistance gene which caused outrage among the anti-GM groups.

The campaigners are now pressing for a moratorium on all new GM crop production in Europe until a safety regime has been put in place.

According to Greenpeace, one million signatures from across every country in the EU were collected by 28 September.

“Signatures continue to pour in from across Europe”, a spokesman told website Euractive.

The plan is to hand the petition to EU Commission president Jose Manuel Barroso.

It will be the first petition presented under the Citizens’ Initiative. The initiative, established in 2009, allows citizens to directly participate in the EU legislative process.

Once an initiative has attracted one million signatures the commission is obliged to give serious consideration to the request.