Environment Committee backs flexibility for EU countries to ban GMO crops
Long-awaited draft plans to allow EU member states to restrict, or ban, the cultivation of crops containing genetically modified organisms on their own territory even if it is allowed at EU level won the support of the Environment Committee on Tuesday. MEPs voted to remove the Council-backed idea of a phase of negotiations with the GMO company, and supported plans to allow member states to ban GMO crops on environmental grounds.
"This vote shows we have secured a broad consensus between the political groups in the European Parliament on this sensitive issue" said Frédérique Ries (ALDE, BE) who is steering the legislation through Parliament.
"The measures approved today will secure flexibility for member states to restrict, ban the cultivation of GMO crops if they so wish. At the same time, we have secured a clear process for the authorization of GMOs at EU level, with improved safeguards and a key role for the European Food Safety Authority, which is important for us" she added.
Risk assessment and management
The approved text would entitle member states to pass legally binding acts restricting or prohibiting the cultivation of GMO crops after they have been authorised at EU level. They could also ask, when a new GMO crop is being assessed at EU level, to adjust the geographical scope of the authorisation.
Bans could be founded upon, inter alia, the aims of environmental policy, town and country planning, land use, agricultural policy, public policy, or possible socio-economic impacts. Further possible grounds should include preventing GMO contamination of other products, persistent scientific uncertainty, the development of pesticide resistance amongst weeds and pests, invasiveness, the persistence of a GMO variety in the environment or a lack of data on the potential negative impacts of a variety, MEPs say.
Case-by-case risk assessments to be carried out by the European Food Safety Authority should take account of the direct, indirect, immediate, delayed and cumulative effects of GMOs on human health and the environment, and always take account of the precautionary principle, MEPs say.
Member states should also ensure that GMO crops do not contaminate other products, and particular attention should be paid to preventing cross-border contamination, for instance by implementing “buffer zones” with neighbouring countries, MEPs say.
The committee’s second reading recommendation was approved by 53 votes to 11 with 2 abstentions. The committee also voted for the opening of negotiations (57 votes to 5 with 4 abstentions) with the Italian Presidency of the Council, which started yesterday.
Latest News from
President von der Leyen marks the EU's commitment to the Partnership for Global Infrastructure and Investment (PGII) during the event hosted at the G20 in New Delhi12/09/2023 15:25:00
President von der Leyen recently (09 September 2023) spoke at the G20 event on PGII hosted by Prime Minister Modi and President Biden.
Summer 2023 Economic Forecast: Easing growth momentum amid declining inflation and robust labour market12/09/2023 13:25:00
The European Commission yesterday presented the Summer 2023 Economic Forecast
Climate change: Deal on a more ambitious Emissions Trading System (ETS)20/12/2022 10:33:00
On Saturday night, MEPs and EU governments agreed to reform the Emissions Trading System to further reduce industrial emissions and invest more in climate friendly technologies.
EU and Ukraine sign €100 million for the rehabilitation of war-damaged schools *20/12/2022 09:25:00
Exactly three months after President von der Leyen's announcement in her 2022 State of the Union Address, the European Commission and the Government of Ukraine have signed a €100 million support package for the reconstruction and rehabilitation of schooling facilities damaged in Russia's full-scale war of aggression against Ukraine.
NextGenerationEU: European Commission endorses positive preliminary assessment of Portugal's second request for €1.8 billion disbursement under the Recovery and Resilience Facility19/12/2022 16:33:00
The European Commission recently (16 December 2022) endorsed a positive preliminary assessment of Portugal's payment request for €1.8 billion of grants and loans under the Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF), the key instrument at the heart of NextGenerationEU.
'Fit for 55': Council and Parliament reach provisional deal on EU emissions trading system and the Social Climate Fund19/12/2022 15:25:00
The Council and the European Parliament reached a provisional political agreement on important legislative proposals of the ‘Fit for 55’ package that will further reduce emissions and address their social impacts.
Ukraine: EU agrees ninth package of sanctions against Russia19/12/2022 14:33:00
The Commission welcomes the Council's adoption of a ninth package of hard-hitting sanctions against Russia for its aggression against Ukraine.
Council and European Parliament agree on new safety requirements for machinery products19/12/2022 13:25:00
The Council and the European Parliament negotiators have reached a provisional agreement on the regulation for machinery products. The proposed legislation transforms the 2006 machinery directive into a regulation.