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Poland has just registered with the European Commission as an official GM-free zone. This makes it the tenth EU member state to opt out of cultivating genetically modified (GM) crops.
It joins France, Germany, Austria, Italy, Hungary, Greece, Slovenia, Lithuania and Latvia in either filing the necessary papers with the Commission, or announcing their intention to do so.
Within the UK, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales have also decided to prohibit the cultivation of GM crops. Belgium has also restricted the use of GM crops to particular territories.
The deadline for countries to submit their application is October 3.
The right for EU countries to opt out of GM cultivation was agreed in March 2015 as a compromise between pro and anti-GM countries.
The Commission’s proposal was denounced by both sides, with pro-GM UK Conservative MEPs insisting that decisions on the cultivation and sale of GM food “should be based purely on scientific assessment of their benefits or potential risks …
Meanwhile Greenpeace’s food policy director Franziska Achterberg complained that the proposed reform would allow the Commission to authorise the import of GMOs – even when opposed by most national governments, the European Parliament and the public:
The split of Europe into two camps – those who do grown GM crops and those that do not – presents a challenge to Europe’s single market.
Given the vast volume of cross border trade which takes place without border controls under the EU’s single market – it is hard to see how the inevitable tensions will be resolved.
A huge mess in the making? Without a doubt. Can the single market survive the strain? Very possibly not.
Read full, original post: France, Germany, Poland … ten European nations to go GMO-free