On Friday 14 October, the European Commission is likely to submit three draft regulations aimed at renewing the authorisation of cultivation in the EU of three genetically modified maize varieties to the Standing Committee on Plants, Animals, Food and Feed.
1) Monsanto’s maize Mon810 (resistant to the corn borer).
2) Syngenta’s maize BT11 (which produces the Bacillus thuringensis toxin against the corn borer and is resistant to a group of herbicides).
3) Dupont’s maize TC1507 (resistant to the corn borer and to a group of herbicides).
For these reasons, among others, the Greens/EFA Group in the European Parliament is this week launching a long term campaign targeting GMO use in the EU.
Not everybody knows that in the European Union, genetically modified organisms (GMOs) are subjected to a specific regulation: Before being authorised for planting or being used in food or feed, they have to undergo a health and environment impact assessment by the European Food and Safety Agency (EFSA), which is then to be authorised by a specific committee before being labelled as a GMO. EFSA’s risk assessment has many shortcomings, though, such as the lack of transparency and the use of the industry’s studies.
Moreover, the recent so-called “opt-out” regulation has entered into force, which allows an individual Member State to ban the cultivation of a GM plant on its territory, even if it is approved at the EU level. But if these Member States refuse the cultivation of GMOs on their own soil, they will not suddenly disappear at their borders. There is thus a clear need to defend the same ban at the EU level.
It would be a major mistake to renew the authorisation of these genetically modified plants. Here are six reasons why, explained by the Greens in the European Parliament.