Incoming commissioner to review EU approval process for GM crops

Publish time: 14th October, 2014      Source:
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October 14, 2014


Incoming commissioner to review EU approval process for GM crops


The use of genetically modified organism (GMO) in European crop production hangs in the balance.


GMcrops, which are not granted approval for cultivation, has actually been allowed to be imported into Europe. In addition, the presence of GMOs is tolerated at a level of up to 0.9% in other crops.


However, EU states are polarised over GMOs while several countries risk legal actions after banning cultivation under a ''get-out'' clause in the current legislation.


The appointment of the newest European Commissioner for health and food safety may pave the way for a degree of resolution in the matter.


According to Commissioner-elect Vytenis Andriukaitis, the current EU rules regulating genetically-modified crops have a source of conflict as the opinion of a member state is ignored.


Speaking at a recent committee hearing, Andriukaitis, who will assume his post as European commissioner for health and food safety on November 1, expressed his desire to review the rules. "In my opinion, the sovereignty and subsidiarity of the member states must be respected", he said


Andriukaitis'' comment echoes that of the Commission''s president-elect Jean-Claude Juncker, who, in July this year, said that he planned to review the approval process for GM crops.


The appointment of Andrukaitis is also welcomed by the Greens/European Free Alliance.


"…We will take (Juncker) at his word and expect the Commission to make sure the important and necessary overhaul of the EU authorisation system is not jeopardised by the controversial proposal to allow member states to opt out of GMO authorisations," Andriukaitis added.


Currently, Monsanto''s MON810 corn and BASF''s Amflora potato are the only two GM crops permitted for cultivation in Europe.