Will new European Commission president be unfriendly to biotech?

| September 12, 2014
This article or excerpt is included in the GLP’s daily curated selection of ideologically diverse news, opinion and analysis of biotechnology innovation.

The Juncker Commission has promised to be “more political” than its predecessor, something GMO backers see as a negative development for the approval of genetically modified crops in Europe.

For GMO backers, more politics is bad news in the face of national bans imposed by some member states in reaction to widespread public opposition to GM crops.  At issue is a legislative proposal by the Commission which aims to break the deadlock on GMO approvals in Europe by formally allowing EU countries to opt-out from the Europe-wide approval system. The proposal, which was backed by the EU’s 28 environment ministers in June 2014, gives back “full responsibility” to member states over the cultivation of GMOs on their territory.

“It seems to us absurd that the EU now introduces new rules that will make it even harder to cultivate GM crops. Is there any need to change the legislation after all? Europe has already the most stringent regulatory system in the world,” Goig said.

What’s particularly puzzling to biotech firms is that politicians may still decide to ban GM crops, in spite of positive scientific assessments by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) concluding that they are safe for consumption.

“Our opponents know these products are safe. If it is unsafe, why allow it to be imported?,” Goig asked.

Read the full, original article: GMO lobby sees new Juncker Commission as bad news

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