Recent “win” opening door to growing GM crops in Britain not really a victory

The European Parliament’s decision on GM in January was hailed by the pro-GM campaign in the UK as a great victory. As the recently sacked, pro-GM environment secretary Owen Paterson’s main supporter, Matt Ridley, wrote in the Times ‘the argument’s over – let GM crops flourish’, claiming that the EU move was ‘a triumph of subtle diplomacy’ by Owen Paterson. This is a peculiarly English view of the European decision. In Germany the government is now determined to ban all GM crops: ‘Under the new directive, EU member states will now be able to choose to opt-out, restricting or completely banning GMO cultivation within their borders.’

So Owen Paterson’s diplomatic triumph will ensure that Germany, along with Scotland and Wales and most of the EU, go completely non-GM! Still, at least the GM companies like Monsanto must be delighted at the outcome as Owen Paterson’s secret diplomacy? Alas no. Monsanto’s said in response to the EU decision: “This is a bad move for Europe. It undermines science, it undermines European farmers, and it raises prices for European consumers”. Maybe Paterson’s diplomacy was a little too subtle for Monsanto.

GM crops already approved by the European Food Safety Agency will presumably be reconsidered by Member States and approved. Around 22 out of 27 of the GM crops awaiting approval are not capable of being grown in Europe, and will simply expand the range of varieties of GM soya and GM maize that are already being imported into the EU for use in animal feed.

Read full, original article: The EU and GM – Will It ‘Let GM Crops Flourish’ or Stop GM Being Used ‘Under Any Pretext’?

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