Commission & Greek EU presidency present false hope on GM crop bans

Proposal for national bans does not stand up to legal scrutiny

Publication - March 3, 2014
On Monday 3 March, EU environment ministers will debate a draft law that the European Commission claims would give EU countries the right to ban GM crop cultivation on their territory, even if a crop has been approved at the EU level. The Commission originally proposed a draft in 2010, but concerns over its legal solidity have plagued it ever since. Now the Greek EU presidency has revived it after the Commission said it would approve a new pesticide-producing GM maize which was opposed by a record number of 19 countries on 11 February [1]. This briefing lays out the legal and political flaws of the Greek proposal as it stands.

Activists deploy two 20 meter high 'ears of corn' and a banner reading (in French): "GMO = Toxic Agriculture, Protect Us!" on the Champ de Mars, in front of the Eiffel Tower, to protest against the re-introduction of GMOs in French fields and to call for a reform of the EU's GMO authorisation process.

Reports in the media say that France will also present a proposal that goes further in guaranteeing the right of EU countries to ban GM crops. It is as yet unclear whether France will make a formal submission to the meeting of environment ministers [2].

20140303 BR GMO subsidiarity proposal