An appeal committee of national experts has today voted on the European Commission’s proposals to authorize two GMO licences, one cotton and one maize. Both are specifically designed to be used with herbicides that pose risks to human health. The appeal committee, like the standing committee before it, failed to reach a qualified majority in favour. MEPs will vote on objections to the two GMOs tomorrow (Wednesday).
Commenting after the vote, Green food safety spokesperson Bart Staes said:
"We welcome that the majority of Member States refused to give their backing to these GMOs. Both of these strands are specifically designed to be tolerant to herbicides that pose credible risks to human health. We will continue to make the case that we can feed ourselves and our farm animals without resorting to dangerous and unnecessary GM crops and an abundant cocktail of toxic chemical products.
"The decision again highlights the failure of the current approvals process. Time and time again, the European Parliament has expressed its opposition to GMOs, as have a majority of Member States in numerous committee decisions. We need a more democratic and accountable way of making these decisions, which would truly do justice to the impact they have on our health, the environment and agricultural practices. While the Commission's recent proposal to improve the decision making process falls far short of what is needed, we look forward to helping shape the Parliament's input.”
The two GMOs voted on today are cotton GHB119 (tolerant to herbicide glufosinate) and maize DAS-40278-9 (tolerant to herbicide 2,4-D). The vote in appeal committee comes as a result of no opinion being reached in the previous standing committee. The decision today was as follows: On cotton GHB119 - 12 Member States in favour, 1 abstention, 15 against. On Maize DAS-40278-9 - 11 Member States in favour, 1 abstention, 16 against.