New EU law grants countries right to ban GM crops but leaves them exposed to industry attacks

Press release - December 4, 2014
Brussels – At the end of a late-night round of negotiations, national governments agreed on a new EU law to provide countries the right to ban GM crops in their territory. However, the agreed text delivers less than it promises, as it prevents countries to use evidence of environmental harm to justify national bans of GM crops.

Commenting on the outcome of the vote, Marco Contiero, Greenpeace EU agriculture policy director said: “Environment ministers say they want to give countries the right to ban GM crop cultivation on their territory, but the text they have agreed does not give governments a legally solid right. It ties their hands by not allowing to use evidence of environmental harm to ban GM cultivation. This leaves those countries that want to say ‘no’ to GM crops exposed to legal attacks by the biotech industry”.

According to Greenpeace, the agreed text is legally weak [1] and ignores calls by the European Parliament to reinstate countries’ right to use environmental concerns to ban GM cultivation [2].

The Parliament is expected to approve the deal in a vote in plenary in January.


[1] Greenpeace comment on Environment Council position, 12 June 2014.

[2] European Parliament environment committee vote, 11 November 2014.



Marco Contiero – Greenpeace EU agriculture policy director:  +32 (0)477 77 70 34 (mobile),

Luisa Colasimone – Greenpeace EU pressdesk: +32 (0)2 274 1915,

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