The European Union has voted to allow member states the power to restrict or prohibit genetically modified (GM) crops in their territory.
In the future, member states will be able to ban GM crops once they establish grounds other than the environmental risk assessment conducted under the EU authorization system.
The vote goes further to establish a two-phase approach to ban the cultivation of GM crops, said Mairead McGuinness, vice president of the European Parliament.
“Phase 1 allows member states to participate in the GMO authorization procedure at an EU level. Member states can request the applicant or company to modify the scope of the geographical area intended for authorization.
“Phase 2 comes into effect after the authorization procedure is complete, member states can still prohibit the authorized GMO crop from being cultivated in their territory. However, there cannot be any conflict between national measures implemented and the environmental risk assessment carried out by EFSA,” she continued.
MON 810, a type of corn, is the only GM crop grown commercially in the EU. Spain is the largest grower of MON 810 in Europe, with 338,000 acres. MON 810 is marketed by Monsanto and is modified to be resistant to the European corn borer. It is banned in Austria, Bulgaria, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary and Luxembourg.
The new law applies only to crops and not to GM ingredients in animal feed.
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