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EU close to agreement to allow individual country votes on GMO approvals and bans

| November 14, 2014

Long-awaited draft plans to allow EU member states to restrict, or ban, the cultivation of crops containing genetically modified organisms on their own territory even if it is allowed at EU level won the support of the Environment Committee.

MEPs voted to remove the Council-backed idea of a phase of negotiations with the GMO company, and supported plans to allow member states to ban GMO crops on environmental grounds.

“The measures will secure flexibility for member states to restrict, ban the cultivation of GMO crops if they so wish,”said Frédérique Ries of Belgium who is steering the legislation through Parliament. “At the same time, we have secured a clear process for the authorization of GMOs at EU level, with improved safeguards and a key role for the European Food Safety Authority, which is important for us” she added.

Case-by-case risk assessments to be carried out by the EFSA should take account of the direct, indirect, immediate, delayed and cumulative effects of GMOs on human health and the environment, and always take account of the precautionary principle, MEPs say.

Read full, original articleEU countries granted flexibility to ban GMO crops

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