UK farmers say European Union’s GMO ban turns them into victims

| October 18, 2013
via AgriNews
via AgriNews
This article or excerpt is included in the GLP’s daily curated selection of ideologically diverse news, opinion and analysis of biotechnology innovation.

(Summary)

Paul Temple, a third generation farmer in the UK who planted GM crops for three years before the EU banned such activities, said that politics and strict regulations within the EU was “failing to offer farmers [a] choice” regarding GM crops, reports AgriNews Field Editor Tim Doran. Temple was a participant at the International Biotechnology Symposium in Illinois, along with other farmers from around the world.

The EU enforces mandatory labeling of GMOs and is steadfastly opposed to field trials, Temple said, which has caused many large biotechnology corporations like Monsanto and BASF to abandon the region all together. Temple expressed worry that because many younger farmers are unaware of the global acceptance of the safety of GMOs, they will fall victim to many misconceptions and myths.

Particularly concerning for farmers, Temple said, is the dependency of the EU on imports, many of which are genetically modified:

“You often hear farmers saying, ‘Why don’t we grow [imported crops] ourselves?’ Well, we can’t,” Temple said. “We might grow about 3 million tons of vegetable protein, but we import in excess of 30 million tons.

“We are hugely dependent on imports, the majority of which is GM, and it’s an act of hypocrisy that as farmers we see products coming in, but we aren’t allowed the opportunity or the choice of growing them.”

Temple went on to discuss how politics are blocking biotechnology from reaching the EU, not any scientific debate. Even though the European Food Safety Authority has already deemed GM crops safe to consume, the majority of countries within the EU ban their cultivation.

Read the full, original story here: “EU’s politics blocks biotech pipeline potential”

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