EuropaBio Initial Response: Commission’s Nationalisation of Approval for the Cultivation of GM Crops
This afternoon EuropaBio provided industry’s initial reactions to Commissioner Dalli’s announcement of the Commission’s proposal to nationalise the authorisation of cultivation of GM crops.
Commenting on the proposal, EuropaBio Secretary General, Nathalie Moll, said: “EuropaBio recognised President Barroso’s commitment early on to develop a smart, sustainable and inclusive economy and we were also encouraged by the Commission’s goal of embracing responsible European innovation across all sectors. Furthermore, we appreciated the vision put forward by the Commission of enabling the EU member states to move forward on the issue of GM crop cultivation at their own pace. Central to this vision must be permitting those member states and their farmers who wish to embrace the benefits of GM crops the freedom to do so.”
Consequently, industry is disappointed that today’s proposal does not appear to provide a means of delivering this vision in that it disables rather than enables the application of beneficial and rigorously tested agricultural biotech products and technologies. We strongly believe that for the proposal to be workable it must be science-based, proportionate in its recommendations and non-discriminatory to those farmers that wish to choose to grow the crops that work best for them. Without due respect for these fundamental principles, the resulting policy will be detrimental to the overall sustainability and success of the European agricultural sector as a whole.
EuropaBio Director for Agricultural Biotechnology, Carel du Marchie Sarvaas, explained: “These proposals appear to give carte blanche to ban safe and approved GM crops in any country or region regardless of the needs or wishes of their farmers. In addition, the proposals will inject further legal uncertainty for those farmers that do wish to grow these crops. The upshot is that even as we contemplate a future fraught with the challenges of globalisation, climate change, food insecurity and shortage of natural resources, we will be denying our farmers the ability to use cutting edge technologies, already available to their counterparts outside the EU, to help them to deal with these same challenges”.
EuropaBio and its members remain committed to applying their expertise towards providing sustainable and beneficial products and technologies giving European farmers and consumers a greater choice in what they grow, buy and eat.