Government views as important as scientific evidence on GMOs, says Juncker

The new President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker is to review current EU legislation in the area of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs).

President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker
President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker

In a speech setting out his agenda for his term as President he said: “I intend to review the legislation applicable to the authorisation of GMOs.

“To me, it is simply not right that under the current rules, the Commission is legally forced to authorise new organisms for import and processing even though a clear majority of Member States is against.

“The Commission should be in a position to give the majority view of democratically elected governments at least the same weight as scientific advice, notably when it comes to the safety of the food we eat and the environment in which we live.

Last month EU Environmental Ministers have voted to allow individual countries decide whether or not to ban or allow the growing of genetically modified crops, GMO, in their country.

Under the agreement, a two-step procedure is to be established to restrict or ban the cultivation of authorised GMOs. According to European Commissioner for Health and Consumer Policy Tonio Borg: “It offers extended and legally sound possibilities for Member States to better take into account their national context when deciding on GMO cultivation. Currently, Member States can only use safeguard clauses to ban cultivation based on risk.”

He also said the agreement secures a Member State’s legitimate right to adjust its decision to restrict or ban cultivation during the 10-year GM authorisation period, if new objective circumstances arise.

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