On this past Thursday, 3 September, the EU Agriculture Committee rejected the bill put forward by the Committee that gave member states the authority to limit or ban, in their own countries, the use of EU-approved GM foodstuffs and feed. There are concerns that arbitrary national bans may distort competition in the EU common market and jeopardize those EU food production sectors that rely heavily on GM feed imports.
With 28 votes in favor, eight against, and six abstentions, the Agriculture Committee’s opinion will now be examined by the Environment Committee, which has a leading role on this topic, before the vote in Parliament.
“The Agriculture Committee’s vote sends a clear message: the Committee’s proposal to allow member states to decide whether to limit or ban the use of GM foodstuffs and feed in their countries must be rejected. We have not created a common market by allowing arbitrary political decisions that completely distort it”, said Albert Dess, spokesperson for the European People’s Party (EPP, DE). “The Committee’s approach is totally unrealistic. In the EU, there are many sectors that rely largely on imports of GM feed and which would not survive if imports were banned. If these bans or limitations were allowed, all animal-based food production in the European Union would be jeopardized, making it much more dependent on food imports from third countries that do not necessarily respect our high production standards. And we certainly want to avoid all that” he added.
The Environment Committee, with responsibility for this bill, will express its opinion in the 12-13 October session. The Parliament could therefore examine the bill, at the plenary session on 26-29 October.
Enrico Porceddu - firstname.lastname@example.org