Campaign groups call on Parliament to ensure real rights to ban GMO cultivation

Campaign groups today called on members of the European Parliament to back citizens' demands for improved rules to prohibit the cultivation of genetically modified (GM) crops. A letter signed by five environment, consumers and farmers groups was sent to all members of the parliament's environment committee, which will debate this controversial issue later in the week.

A draft new law is being promoted as a way to grant national governments more flexibility to decide whether they wish to cultivate GM crops on their territories. But the law is highly problematic and would grant biotech companies, including Monsanto and Syngenta, unprecedented power over decisions on whether to ban GM crops.

The letter states:

"The European Parliament will be discussing the position recently adopted by the Council, which in our view grants excessive influence to the few multinational companies producing GM crops, while ignoring the interests of EU citizens and farmers. If left un-amended, the Council proposal will lead to less scrutiny on the health and environmental impacts of GMOs and will not provide member states with legally solid reasons to justify National restrictions of GM cultivation, allowing biotech companies to easily challenge national bans in court."

Comments

Scientifically-informed policy-making?
donjoe

You want sound scientific advice for policy-makers you should start with yourselves, by ending all this ignorance-based anti-GMO hysteria. GMOs are not only safe for human consumption but they can actually alleviate huge humanitarian problems like the lack of food in arid regions.

"There is broad scientific consensus that food on the market derived from GM crops poses no greater risk than conventional food.[121][122][123][124] No reports of ill effects have been proven in the human population from ingesting GM food.[121][125][126][127]"
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Genetically_modified_organism#Controversy

Some sources to get better informed
CEO team

Thanks for your comment, but here are some sources to get better informed:

There is no scientific consensus on the safety of GM foods: http://www.ensser.org/increasing-public-information/no-scientific-conse…

There are strong concerns about the soundness of GM environmental risk assessment. In December 2008 the Environment Council concluded that the implementation of the EU legal framework for GMOs should be reinforced (which still hasn't happened).

There are strong concerns about the soundness of GM food safety risk assessment: http://www.testbiotech.org/en/node/629

There are strong concerns about the independence of experts assessing the risks (based largely or only on industry studies): http://corporateeurope.org/efsa/2013/10/unhappy-meal-european-food-safe…

Currently grown GM crops are patented pesticide sponges designed for monocropping, that worsen rather than solves the key challenges of modern agriculture, destroying soils and heavily relying on pesticides. GM soy and maize cultivation in Argentina is far from 'alleviating humanitarian problems', but is rather creating new ones: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-0ODUxkRDqg

We think EU member states should have the right to ban such crops with stronger legal guarantees than what exists and is currently proposed. Hence our letter.