To ban GMO crops, European countries must prove ‘serious and evident risk’ to health, environment

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An EU high court adviser on Thursday [March 30, 2017] gave member states a very limited go-ahead to ban the cultivation of genetically modified crops, but only if they can prove the crops are “a serious and evident risk likely to endanger health and the environment.”

In a thoughtful 10-page opinion, [European Court of Justice Advocate General Michal] Bobek noted up front that EU law tailors the precautionary principle more narrowly – and one of two regulations on GMOs doesn’t mention it at all. The one that does, which covers genetically modified food, requires a full assessment of the product in question that reveals “scientific uncertainty regarding the possible harmful effects on health of a food,” Bobek wrote.

So while in theory member states are allowed to pass emergency national legislation on the basis of the precautionary principle, it’s much more difficult to do so for GMO products because EU law requires them to be rigorously vetted before they’re even allowed on the market. Scientific understanding of the crops would have to change in order for member states to pass emergency bans, Bobek said.

Bobek’s opinion is not binding on the Court of Justice, which has begun its deliberations of the case.

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion, and analysis. Read full, original post: EU Court Adviser Sets High Bar for States’ GMO Bans

For more background on the Genetic Literacy Project, read GLP on Wikipedia

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