European Parliament approves new law on GM crop cultivation
March 13, 2015
The European Parliament today approved a new law on Wednesday on growing genetically modified (GM) crops in the European Union, clearing the way for new strains to be approved after years of deadlock.
(13 March) The European Parliament today approved a new law on Wednesday on growing genetically modified (GM) crops in the European Union, clearing the way for new strains to be approved after years of deadlock.
The law was expected to be published in the EU's Official Journal today and enter into force 20 days later.
The new rules still allow member states to ban or restrict GM crops on their territory, reports euobserver.
First, during the EU authorisation process, they will be able to adjust the geographical scope of the cultivation. Second, if a crop is authorised by the European Commission (EC), they will be able to restrict or prohibit cultivation on their territory.
The directive gives member states the possibility to ban GM cultivation on environmental grounds, but also for other reasons, such as socio-economic impact or public policy.
They will no longer need to provide new evidence of risk to health or the environment, unlike the old rules.
According to a Reuters report, one of the first crops likely to receive EC endorsement is an insect-resistant maize known as 1507, whose developers DuPont and Dow Chemical, have been waiting 14 years for authorisation.
So far, Monsanto's maize MON810 is the only GM crop grown in Europe, where it has been cultivated in Spain and Portugal for a decade.
In addition, some GM crops to be imported for food or animal feed use, less controversial than those to be grown in Europe, are expected to get approval, the Reuters report says.
EC President Jean-Claude Juncker has also announced a review of the approval process.