Member States to determine own rules on GMOs

The European Parliament has ruled that Member States should be allowed to determine their own stance on the cultivation of genetically modified organisms (GMOs).

The EU Commissioner for Health and Food Safety Vytenis Andriukaitis said the European Parliament and the Council have reached a provisional political agreement on the draft legislation on GMO cultivation.

The proposal, still subject to confirmation by Coreper and by the plenary of the European Parliament, will give Member States the possibility to restrict or prohibit the cultivation of GMOs on their territory, without affecting the EU risk assessment, he said.

The agreement, if confirmed, would meet Member States’ consistent calls since 2009, to have the final say on whether or not GMOs can be cultivated on their territory, in order to better take into account their national context and, above all, the views of their citizens, he said.

“The agreement, if confirmed, would meet Member States’ consistent calls since 2009, to have the final say on whether or not GMOs can be cultivated on their territory, in order to better take into account their national context and, above all, the views of their citizens.

“The text agreed is in line with President Juncker commitment, as reflected in his Political Guidelines, to give the democratically elected governments at least the same weight as scientific advice when it comes to important decisions concerning food and environment.”

He thanked the Members of the European Parliament, and the Council, and countires which had moved beyond their divergences to make a significant step forward, after four  years of intense debates on this issue.

“I fully trust that this agreement in principle will be formally endorsed in the coming weeks by the European Parliament and the Council, allowing the Member States to start exercising their extended capacities to decide on GMO cultivation as from spring 2015.”

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