Thu, 29 Oct 2015
EU - The European Parliament has comprehensively rejected a European Commission plan to allow individual member states to ban genetically modified food or feed on their territories.
The proposal was rejected by 577 votes to 75, with 38 abstentions, with the vote following a similar rejection by the Parliament's Environment committee.
European feed organisations COCERAL, FEDIOL and FEFAC said they were relieved at the outcome of the vote. The organisations recently released a report describing the negative impacts that such a ban would have on agriculture, through increased costs and decreased global competitiveness.
“Over the last few months, serious concerns have been expressed about the lack of any impact assessment, the proposal’s compatibility with the single market, and also whether it is actually feasible. There was no evaluation of the potential consequences or of other available options,” said rapporteur Giovanni La Via, who led the vote.
“I believe that this proposal could have negative consequences for agriculture in the EU, which is heavily dependent on protein supplies from GMO sources.
"It could also have indirect negative effects on imports. Finally, there are concerns over whether this proposal could even be implemented, because there are no border controls in the EU,” he concluded.
The Commission had suggested that this proposal should be modelled on another EU law, on GMOs intended for cultivation, which entered into force in early April 2015. This allows member states to ban the cultivation of EU-approved GMOs on their territory.
But whereas cultivation necessarily takes place on a member state’s territory, GMO trade crosses borders, which means that a national “sales and use” ban could be difficult or impossible to enforce without reintroducing border checks on imports.