On January 13, the European Union (EU) voted in favour of amending legislation in Europe that will allow Member States and Regions to make national decisions on whether they wish to ban or cultivate genetically modified (GM) crops in their territories. This change of EU legislation is expected to be adopted this Spring and will create a mechanism by which the Welsh Government can demand that the GM applicant limits the geographic scope of an EU GM crop authorisation to exclude Wales.
This development will help us in our delivery of our GM policy which is to maintain a restrictive and precautionary approach to GM crop cultivation. It is a policy approach that enjoys cross-party support.
Whilst we take a precautionary approach, we also keep an open mind on future GM developments and plant breeding technologies. There are currently no GM crops that are suitable for Welsh growing conditions or that could have a lasting benefit to Wales. Future research into advanced plant breeding techniques carried out on a basis of independence, openness and integrity may help deliver the next generation of crops (GM or conventional) that benefit the farmer, consumer and environment, and could lead to more sustainable forms of agriculture. We, therefore, support the growing Welsh research expertise in biomedical and agricultural sciences.
Read full, original statement: Written Statement – The nationalisation of genetically modified crop cultivation decisions in the European Union.