Trade & Approvals

All genetically modified crops (GMOs) go through a strict pre-market authorisation system before being put on the EU market either as part of imported agricultural commodities harvested outside the EU, or as seeds for cultivation in the EU. All authorisations are preceded by a thorough safety assessment by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), followed by a political process involving the European Commission and Member States.

The EU benefits from this technology mainly indirectly through imports given the numerous national bans on cultivation and the fact that Europe has approved only one GMO for cultivation. The EU is one of the biggest importers of agricultural commodities derived from GMOs.

We pay with imported GM cotton bank notes, we wear imported GM cotton clothes, and each year we feed our farm animals with an amount of imported GM soybeans roughly equivalent to the combined weight of all EU citizens. To secure these imports, which are much needed especially by European livestock farmers, it is crucial that the EU ensures that its approval process is functional and follows legislative timelines.