12 April 2000
Biotech firms escape liability

By FWi staff

BIOTECH companies have escaped liability for any environmental damage caused by genetically modified products.

The European Parliament rejected an amendment to make producers of GM foods liable in a vote on Wednesday (12 April).

The Euro-MPs also rejected calls for a ban on antibiotic resistance marker genes used in some GM products.

A third amendment, intended to avoid cross-pollination of conventional crops by GM varieties, was also voted out.

The vote on liability followed complaints by European biotech companies that such a move would force them outside Europe.

The Parliament has asked the European Commission to produce a broader plan.

Greenpeace was disappointed with the vote.

The environmental organisation said it was a scandal that the parliament failed to put financial responsibility where it belonged – “on companies pushing these crops to market.”