Press release

EU Commission proposal rejected

MEPs say no to the GMO opt-out proposal

Brussels, 28 October 2015 - The EU Food and Feed Chain partners feel relieved by today’s decision of the European Parliament to reject the European Commission’s trade-distorting proposal aimed at allowing EU Member States to opt-out from authorised Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) for food and feed uses in the EU. The Coalition strongly opposes the proposal and calls on the EU Commission to withdraw it.

Providing Member States with the possibility to impose national bans on EU-approved GMOs is in clear contradiction with the core principles of the EU’s internal market. By allowing that scientific findings on the safety of products be plainly overruled by non-science-based restrictions to the free movement of goods, the Commission would be setting a dangerous precedent (added to the legalised restrictions on GMO cultivation) that would severely undermine the reliability of the European food and feed chain. Dismantlement of the single market will destabilise the balance of the EU commodities market and have a negative impact on the EU budget.

This proposal would result in substantial commercial and legal risks for operators, condemning them to overly high costs and undue trade disruptions. By threatening the competitiveness of the agri-food chain, the largest employer in Europe today (30 million jobs in 2014 – 13.4% of total employment) and 3.5% of the EU GDP, this proposal is in clear disagreement with the EU’s political priorities on “jobs and growth” and “better and smart regulation”.

The EU Food and Feed Chain partners reiterate their call for a properly functioning and evidence-based EU policy on GMOs as a key element to secure the development and availability of innovative products to the benefit of consumers. The food and feed supply chain gathers a variety of operators (involved in research, development, manufacture and trade in products as diverse as seeds, grains, feedstuffs, oils, etc.) and requires that the agri-food business be based on a workable and predictable policy framework free of undue distortions. Jointly, we believe that a timely application of the existing EU legislation will provide for the much needed legal and regulatory certainty for all operators. The FFC also calls for a dedicated debate to address the relevant issues involving biotechnology and GMOs.

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