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13.12.2013

GMO authorisations

Annulment of Amflora authorisation calls Commission's role into question

The European Court of Justice today annulled the authorisation granted by the European Commission for the cultivation of a genetically modified potato (Amflora). Commenting on the decision and the wider implications, Green food safety and environment spokesperson Bart Staes said:

"This annulment by the ECJ calls the Commission's role in authorising GMOs seriously into question. The pro-GM tendency of the Commission is no secret but that the Commission did not respect the rules governing authorisations indicates its gung-ho nature with regard to this highly controversial technology. It is scandalous that the Commission is trying to bulldoze through the authorisation of this GMOs in spite of the massive opposition of EU citizens, as well as member state governments.

"As an immediate response, EU governments must take heed and freeze all potential or pending GMO authorisations. Last month the Commission proposed authorising the cultivation of a new variety of genetically modified maize (1507, marketed as Herculex outside the EU) in the EU, which would be first GM maize to be approved in 15 years. If the Commission does not retract the proposal, it must be rejected. The Greens are calling on EU governments to reject this and have tabled a resolution to this end, which will be voted in the European Parliament's environment and public health committee next week.

"Beyond this, there is a need to reform the EU's GMO authorisation process to take account of the consistently negative decisions in the EU's Council of Ministers. The partial renationalisation of competences on GM cultivation, proposed by the Commission but stalled in the legislative process, must not be a trick to allow the Commission to force through swifter and easier EU level authorisations. This would be at total odds with public will. Any new approval procedure should not be a tool for the Commission to bully EU member states into accepting authorisations for GM crops for which legitimate concerns clearly exist."

(1) See the ECJ ruling here:

http://curia.europa.eu/jcms/upload/docs/application/pdf/2013-12/cp130160en.pdf  

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Richard More O'Ferrall

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