Press release

New Rules on GMO Trade Would End EU Internal Market

Commission proposes a patchwork of national bans on imports of safe products.

Brussels, 22 April 2015 – “The European Commission is sacrificing the fundamental principle of the internal market by proposing to set up a patchwork of national bans on imports of safe products”, said Jeff Rowe, Chairman of the Agri-Food Council of EuropaBio, the European Association for Bioindustries, commenting on the legislative proposal to nationalise the authorisation process of genetically modified (GM) crops for import put forward today by the European Commission.

GMOs are an integral part of our daily lives, as Europe benefits from this key enabling technology through trade. We pay with GM cotton bank notes and wear GM cotton clothes, and we heavily rely on GM commodities to feed our farm animals. Each year the EU imports over 33 million tonnes of genetically modified soya beans, totalling more than 60 kg for each of its 500 million citizens per year, greatly reducing our environmental footprint and helping farmers achieve a better living. Undermining this well-established and successful trade risks real damage to jobs, growth and confidence in Europe as a place to do business.  

“This proposal would limit the choice for livestock farmers and threaten their livelihoods. It would also set the alarm off for any innovative industry subject to an EU approval process in Europe. Failing to uphold the EU-wide approval of safe products will damage jobs, growth, innovation and competitiveness. Together with the European Food and Feed Chain, we urge the Commission – Guardians of the EU Treaties – to withdraw this proposal”, stressed Rowe.

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