Member states put off talks on more flexible GM rules
Hopes for a start to negotiations on more flexible rules for growing genetically modified (GM) crops have been dashed by opposition from several large member states. The draft legislation, which would allow member states to ban GM crops for social or cultural reasons, is due for discussion by EU environment ministers on 21 June in Luxembourg. The proposed legislative changes have faced strong opposition since they were put forward by John Dalli, the European commissioner for health and consumer protection, in July 2010. The aim was to end the current deadlock, which has since 1998 seen resistance among several member states to approval of GM crops for cultivation. The rationale was that countries would stop blocking EU approval if they could ban the growing of GM crops on their own territory. MEPs are due to vote on the draft legislation during the Strasbourg plenary session in July. The Parliament's environment, public health and food safety committee voted in April on the legislation. The committee's position diverges substantially from that of the Commission and Council, especially over the status of scientific advice.
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