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National GMO import bans not sustainable for EU livestock production

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In mid-October, members of the EU Parliament’s environment, public health and food safety committee opposed a Commission proposal to allow member states to restrict or ban EU-approved GMO food or feed within their territory, amid fears such measures would fragment the internal market.

MEPs’ recommendation to vote against the proposal was largely supported – 47 to 3 – and will now be submitted to a plenary vote in late October.

Guillaume Balas, S&D group shadow rapporteur, argues that, “…reverting to national rules constitutes an admission of weakness in terms of our collective ambition.”

“In an open market, the Commission proposing to renationalise GMO use is a return to border controls for produce; that is to say, the disuniting of member states.”

“It’s up to citizens to choose Europe’s future food and agricultural model, a choice which admittedly is not favourable to GMOs. To deny this would be to worsen any mistrust they might have towards the EU institutions.”

ECR group shadow rapporteur Julie Girling also voted against national bans, explaining that, “around 72 per cent of animal feed is imported each year from third countries. They mainly come from the US, Argentina and Brazil, which have long been cultivating GM varieties of these crops. To be blunt, the EU is reliant on imports of GM feed to maintain its livestock sector.”

“The Commission’s proposal is dangerous for many reasons. One of these is the fact that it pits politics against the agricultural sector. Rhetoric around establishing ‘GMO-free’ regions and countries disingenuously ignores the reality that those same regions could not sustain livestock production without the ability to import GM feed.”

Read full, original post: National GMO bans are a danger to EU agriculture

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