EU to Allow Nations to Ban Approved GM Crops

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frankenfoodCOMMON DREAMS– Individual EU nations will be free to ban genetically modified crops, even if they are deemed safe and approved, under rule changes being drawn up by Brussels to unblock the clearance process.

EU Health Commissioner John Dalli, in charge of the emotive dossier, will hand over plans to national capitals and the EU parliament for their consideration next month, Green groups and Brussels sources said on Friday following a series of briefings.

GMO supporters cite the benefits of growing crops with higher yields, more resistance to pests and disease, and requiring less fertiliser and pesticide. Opponents speak of ‘frankenfoods’ which will inevitably contaminate other crops and for which there can be no definitive evidence of their safety.

While the European Commission would not confirm the plans, a spokesman said there are no immediate moves to authorise more GMO crops. Environmental group Friends of the Earth said there were two main planks to the planned rule changes,

The first is “to allow member states full flexibility to ban GM crops,” with that right extended to regions within a country, a very important point in Germany and its substantially autonomous regions, or Laenders.

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© Common Dreams, 2010

Photo by flickr user AZRainman

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