EU Pressures Five member States to Lift GM Block
BRUSSELS IS putting pressure on five member states to rescind their bans on certain GM crops and come into line with new EU rules covering the cultivation and use of approved varieties.
The issue is on the agenda of the regulatory committee on the release of GMOs into the environment, which meets at the end of this month.
If enough member states vote in favour of the EU Commission”s proposals, then the countries involved – Austria, France, Germany, Greece and Luxembourg – would have to lift their bans within 20 days.
Failure to do so could trigger legal action by the commission, with the threat of fines.
The commission insists that all the GMOs being blocked by the member states are safe, having been cleared by the Scientific Committee on Plants and the European Food Safety Authority.
But environmental lobby group Friends of the Earth has accused the commission of “caving in to corporate America”.
It maintains that there are still doubts about the long-term environmental and human health effects of many of the GM crops covered by these national bans.
FoE claims that Brussels has been forced to accept GMOs because of the case being brought against it by the USA, Argentina and Canada through the World Trade Organisation, who have accused the EU of blocking free trade.