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Daily News Blog

15
Jan

Member EU States Authorized to Plant GE Crops

(Beyond Pesticides, January 15, 2015) Yesterday, the European Union (EU) passed legislation meant to bridge a long-standing divide amongst EU nations (and the United States) on the planting of genetically-engineered (GE) crops by granting individual countries the authority to opt-out of EU crop approval and institute country-based legislative and regulatory restrictions.

eu-members-2013Makers of GE crops (like Monsanto) and proponents of GE crop cultivation have faced staunch and successful opposition in getting the required EU permission to plant GE crops. Opposition comes from both EU citizens and certain member states, like France, Italy, and Germany. By giving opposing countries an EU-sanctioned means to opt-out and establish individual member state restrictions, the new law may accelerate  opt-outs in those countries that do not oppose GE crop planting.

Countries like France that have repeatedly fought back against GE crop cultivation welcome the new EU legislation, as do environmental advocates. “This is another nail in the coffin of genetically modified crops,” said Mute Schimpf, a campaigner for Friends of the Earth Europe, told Bloomberg. “While not perfect, this new law allows governments to shut the door on biotech crops in Europe.”

Countries in favor of GE crop cultivation, like Britain, also view the action as positive. According to Bloomberg reporters, however, GE crop proponents such as EuropaBio, an association with a membership that includes Monsanto, BASF, Bayer AG, and Syngenta AG, are less than enthusiastic about the legislation, arguing that the move does little to improve approval chances and goes against science-based regulation.

“That really is quite a bad precedent for the internal market,” said Beat Spaeth, director for agricultural biotechnology at EuropaBio. “It’s also a bad precedent for science-based regulation. What’s next, a ban on yellow-colored cars?”

Science Points to Significant Health and Environmental Impacts from GE Crops

Quite to the contrary, independent scientific research (meaning that which is conducted by researchers other than those on the payroll of the companies making GE crops and the chemicals that accompany them) would argue that the science supports increased restrictions if not bans on GE crops. For example, recent toxicity studies conducted on the chemical most commonly used on GE crops, glyphosate, point to increased rates of non-Hodgkin Lymphoma , multiple myeloma, and hairy cell leukemia. Scientists have also found correlations between rises in chronic diseases and glyphosate use in the U.S. where glyphosate use has been rampant due to GE crop cultivation.

Environmental impacts raise even more concerns, with demonstrated weed resistance to glyphosate and waterway pollution threatening delicate ecosystems. And even worse health and environmental dangers lurk in the future with the development of a new wave of GE crops, relying on a 2,4-D and glyphosate combination chemical known as Enlist Duo ® to be used with the GE crops.

Both at home and abroad, Beyond Pesticides supports the rights of countries, states, and localities to stand against GE crop invasion and its dangerous impacts. Visit our website to learn more about negative impacts and what you can do to stop GE!

All unattributed positions and opinions in this piece are those of Beyond Pesticides.

Source: Bloomberg

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One Response to “Member EU States Authorized to Plant GE Crops”

  1. 1
    TonyFreakedOutonGMOs Says:

    Keep up the great work on GMOs, Beyond Pesticides.

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  • Archives

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