The European Commission and a handful of EU governments want Europe to grow more genetically modified (GM) crops. In the coming months, they want to authorise the cultivation of two GM maize varieties (DuPont Pioneer’s 1507 and Syngenta’s Bt11), and to renew the licence for another maize (Monsanto’s maize MON810), the only GM crop currently grown in the EU.
The proposed authorisations would only be valid in 9 out of 28 European Union (EU) countries, as well as in three regions (England in the UK, Flanders and the Brussels region in Belgium). The rest of EU countries and the remaining four regions in the UK and Belgium were excluded under the EU’s new opt-out mechanism. The Commission is hoping that EU governments will accept GM crops so long as they are not grown in their territories.
Franziska Achterberg, EU Food Policy Director for Greenpeace, said: “GM crops have no place in sustainable farming. Rightly, the majority of EU governments and parliamentarians have rejected them. But now it’s time for all EU countries to think beyond their borders. Governments should oppose environmentally damaging GM crops anywhere, not just in their own backyard, to protect wildlife and allow farmers and consumers to go GM-free.”
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