EU governments condemn GM powers handover

Ministers from pro- and anti-GM governments have attacked European Commission plans to hand member states the power to ban or authorise genetically modified crops.

The proposals were put forward in July by EU health commissioner John Dalli with the aim to end the political deadlock on GM crop cultivation in the EU.

But the plans were criticised by countries on both sides of the GM debate at a council meeting on Monday (27 September), leaving the policy in danger of being withdrawn or radically modified.

Member states fear the proposal could undermine internal trade in agricultural products, and might be against World Trade Organisation rules, charges refuted by Commissioner Dalli in a press conference in Brussels after the meeting.

Ministers have agreed to establish a working group to address those issues, while Commissioner Dalli is also hoping that environment ministers, who also have a say, will adopt a less critical approach towards the idea.

“Negotiations will go on at the Environment Council in three weeks,” he said. The environment ministers are scheduled to meet on 14 October.

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