European Union posed for November vote on future of GMO crops

Three years; that’s how long the European parliament has been waiting for the member states since its ambitious vote on future legislation regarding the restriction or banning of producing genetically modified organism (GMO) crops in their territories.

This wait is due to the extreme sensitivity of this file, with its mixture of considerations: scientific, ethical, commercial, agricultural, environmental and health-based, but also, and above all, with respect to the citizens themselves. Indeed, if there is one issue that has stirred up public opinion in the different member states during the last decade, it is surely GMOs. This has been accompanied by growing disapproval regarding risks from the presence of GMOs in human food. We should perhaps recall that in the Eurobarometer report on food technology from December 2010, “only 21 per cent of Europeans agree with the statement that ‘GMO food is safe for future generations’ (against 58 per cent who disagree).”

Presently there is only MON810 maize – resistant to two types of destructive insects – which has been permitted for cultivation in Europe since 1998. In addition to this, there are seven requests for GMOs awaiting authorisation.

It is in this particular context that parliament’s environment, public health and food safety (ENVI) committee is due to give its opinion on my draft report on 5 November.

In future, the EU would be well advised to launch public debates on sensitive issues in advance, in order to avoid any head-on collision between public opinion and genetic innovations.

Read full, original articleGMOs decision marks end of ‘three-year wait’

Outbreak
Outbreak Daily Digest
Biotech Facts & Fallacies
Talking Biotech
Genetics Unzipped
ft covidresponseus feature

Video: Viewpoint: The US wrote the global playbook on the coronavirus and then ignored it

A year ago, the United States was regarded as the country best prepared for a pandemic. Our government had spent ...
mag insects image superjumbo v

Disaster interrupted: Which farming system better preserves insect populations: Organic or conventional?

A three-year run of fragmentary Armageddon-like studies had primed the journalism pumps and settled the media framing about the future ...
dead bee desolate city

Are we facing an ‘Insect Apocalypse’ caused by ‘intensive, industrial’ farming and agricultural chemicals? The media say yes; Science says ‘no’

The media call it the “Insect Apocalypse”. In the past three years, the phrase has become an accepted truth of ...
globalmethanebudget globalcarbonproject cropped x

Infographic: Cows cause climate change? Agriculture scientist says ‘belching bovines’ get too much blame

A recent interview by Caroline Stocks, a UK journalist who writes about food, agriculture and the environment, of air quality ...
organic hillside sweet corn x

Organic v conventional using GMOs: Which is the more sustainable farming?

Many consumers spend more for organic food to avoid genetically modified products in part because they believe that “industrial agriculture” ...
benjamin franklin x

Are most GMO safety studies funded by industry?

The assertion that biotech companies do the research and the government just signs off on it is false ...
gmo corn field x

Do GMO Bt (insect-resistant) crops pose a threat to human health or the environment?

Bt is a bacterium found organically in the soil. It is extremely effective in repelling or killing target insects but ...
favicon

Environmental Working Group: EWG challenges safety of GMOs, food pesticide residues

Known by some as the "Environmental Worrying Group," EWG lobbies for tighter GMO legislation and famously puts out annual "dirty dozen" list of fruits and ...
m hansen

Michael Hansen: Architect of Consumers Union ongoing anti-GMO campaign

Michael K. Hansen (born 1956) is thought by critics to be the prime mover behind the ongoing campaign against agricultural biotechnology at Consumer Reports. He is an ...
News on human & agricultural genetics and biotechnology delivered to your inbox.
Optional. Mail on special occasions.
Send this to a friend