Why make tough laws on GMOs and then break them?

EuropaBio Agricultural Biotechnology

Brussels, 2 March 2009

EuropaBio, the European Association for Bioindustries, expressed its profound disappointment at Member States’ failure, today, to defend the GM authorisation procedure, science and Europe’s farmers by voting against the European Commission’s proposal that Hungary and Austria lift their illegal bans on GM crops. 
“Today’s vote is a political side-step that goes against the wishes of Europe’s farmers who are increasingly demanding the choice to grow biotech crops1. Meanwhile, millions of farmers elsewhere around the world continue to grow them across millions of hectares”, says Nathalie Moll, Executive Director of Green Biotechnology Europe at EuropaBio. 
“It is incomprehensible that some Member States choose to ignore the overwhelming scientific evidence as to the safety of these GM products2 and the commercial reality of their safe growth and consumption for more than a decade around the world. The outcome of today’s political vote is even more worrying given that GM crops are a key tool for increasing food production, to offset  the potential of food price rises, while simultaneously reducing the impact of agriculture on the environment. Why make tough laws in Europe on GMOs, only to ignore them?” added Moll. 
Both Hungary and Austria are bordered by countries where GM maize is grown, countries that respect the choice of their farmers, EU law and Europe’s independent scientific assessments showing these products to be safe. “It is a great injustice that Hungarian and Austrian farmers will continue to be denied this choice and limited to only looking across their borders to their more fortunate neighbours,” concluded Moll.
For further information, contact:
Nathalie Moll 
GBE Executive Director, EuropaBio
Tel: +32 2 735 0313 -
GSM: +32 473 88 45 78
Joanna Dupont Inglis
Tel: +32 2 735 0313
GSM: +32 476 607135
Notes to Editors
(2) EFSA Opinion on Hungarian safeguard clause for MON810 maize (2 July 2008):
EFSA Opinion on the Austrian safeguard clause for MON810 and T25 maize (4 December 2008):
About EuropaBio
EuropaBio is the European Association for Bioindustries, solely and uniquely bringing together bioscience companies from all fields of research and development, testing, manufacturing and distribution of biotechnology products. It has 68 corporate members operating worldwide, 5 associate members, 4 BioRegions and 25 national biotechnology associations representing some 1800 small and medium sized enterprises involved in research. Its mission is to promote an innovative and dynamic biotechnology-based industry in Europe. http://www.europabio.org

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