Brussels – Commenting on the vote cast by the European Parliament today about the Commission’s proposal to authorise three GM maize varieties for cultivation in Europe, Greenpeace EU food policy director Franziska Achterberg said:

The majority of EU governments have decided to ban the cultivation of these GM crops in their countries, and members of the European Parliament opposed their use across the EU. The Commission cannot ignore these voices if it is serious about restoring citizens’ trust in the EU.

It makes no sense to grow these pesticide-producing GM crops in Europe. They harm the environment and fail to do the job they are meant to do. In countries where farmers grow them, pests have become resistant to the insecticides released by the plants. Now farmers have started to plant GM crops that produce two or more different insecticides, further exacerbating environmental impacts.

The European Parliament has repeatedly clashed with the European Commission over its policy on genetically modified organisms (GMOs). In October 2015, it rejected a Commission proposal to allow EU countries to impose national bans on GMO imports. In December 2015, it called for a moratorium on all GMO import authorisations until new decision-making rules are in place, questioning the current process for GMO authorisations. In the past year, the Parliament has opposed the authorisation of 18 GMOs for import to the EU.

The Commission has ignored all of the Parliament’s objections. However, last month the Commission announced that it would “consider amendments to the rules governing EU-wide authorisation procedures in certain sensitive sectors in order to ensure that – rather than leaving to the Commission alone the responsibility to act where Member States cannot give an opinion”.

EU governments will discuss the proposals to authorise the three GM maize on 14 October and could vote on them in mid-November. After the vote, it will be up to the Commission to take a final decision.

For more information about the three GM maize varieties authorisations, read our media briefing.



Franziska Achterberg, Greenpeace EU food policy director, [email protected], +32 2 274 1918

Greenpeace EU press desk: +32 (0)2 274 1911, [email protected]


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