Europe Closer to Allowing Formal Bans on GMOs for Reasons Other than Science

(DTN) European Union member states last week came one step closer to being able to ban the cultivation of biotech crops within their borders for reasons that have nothing to do with science following a vote on the proposal by the EU's environment ministers. The measure now goes to the European Parliament which is expected to make a final decision on the issue by the end of the year.
The action would effectively give member states the ability to decide whether GMOs can be grown in their own territory by being able to opt out of cultivation licenses for reasons other than concerns for health or the environment. Both of those areas would remain under the jurisdiction of the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA). However, states would be able to ban the cultivation of GMOs for "social or ethical" reasons even if the EFSA has approved them.
The decision clearly runs counter to a "sound science" commitment made by both the EU and the United States when they launched Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) free trade negotiations. The decision to allow GMO bans by individual EU countries can be expected to raise yet another barrier to completing the TTIP.

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