‘EU must decide GMO stance at national level’

The deadlock around genetically modified organisms (GMOs) needs to end, according to EU Health and Food Safety Commissioner Vytenis Andriukaitis.

The Commissioner said that he wasn’t surprised that the European Parliament Environment Committee recently rejected the GMO opt-out clause, which would allow individual Member States to impose national bans on GMOs.

“I was prepared for such a reaction. At committee level we have very interesting discussions and questions from different angles.”

However, he said that Member States must take a clear position on GM and not hide behind Europe and blame Europe.

Allowing EU Member States to decide their own position, he said, needs to be done through impact assessment for consumers and farmers and society.

The rejection of the opt-out clause may also happen again and the European Commission may be forced to remove the opt-out clause. The consequence of this, he said, would mean the stalemate continues and it creates uncertainty.

The move to allow Member States to determine their own GMO stance has been both welcomed and criticised by different parties and has raised eyebrows among international trading partners.

Critics say a move to allow national decisions on GMO would create significant trading issues.

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