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Keeping Ecology Agendas Warm

  • August 30th, 2007
  • Posted by EUEditor

naked-switzerland-8-07.jpgAfter warming up awareness of climate change this Northern Summer with its no-clothes demonstration in the Swiss Alps (picture), the Greenpeace organisation this week launched a fresh move on GMOs.

Greenpeace has put a legal submission to the European Commission (28.8.07) challenging its move to over-rule a new Polish law that would block the production of genetically-altered products.

It was responding to a notification procedure commenced by the EC against the draft law; the beginning of a formal legal challenge.

The organisation produced a legal opinion arguing the legislation would be fully consistent with EU law.

“The fact that a genetically modified seed or plant or animal has been authorised at EU level does not mean that member states have no further rights to regulate the use of such genetically engineered living beings in their territory,” it said.

The Greenpeace submission was written by an EU Environmental Law specialist, Professor Ludwig Krämer, who said Poland had the right to restrict the use of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) in its territory in order to protect its environment.

It was similar to EU member states regulating the use of motor cars, while cars were authorised for sale and distribution on a Europe-wide basis.

“The Commission’s interpretation of the provisions set out in Directive 2001/18/EC, according to which member states are not allowed to regulate the use of GMOs in their territory, is flawed”, Professor Krämer wrote.

“This interpretation is based upon the false assumption by the Commission that the concepts of ‘placing on the market’ and of ‘use’ are equal in EU law.”

The common cause between Catholic-traditionalist concerns about genetics in Poland, and the green movement, is one aspect of widespread rejection of GMOs among consumers in Europe.

Aletsch Glacier in Switzerland became the scene of an earlier protest (18.8.07), six hundred volunteers stripping off to show their concern about global warming.

The gesture, co-ordinated by the installation artist Spencer Tunick, may not have sped the melting of the glacier by much, but Greenpeace averred it had typified the actions of people in an emergency.

“An emergency provokes extreme responses,” it said.

“Human beings in danger abandon niceties and normal standards of acceptable behaviour”.

Reference:

Greenpeace submission to European Commission: http://www.greenpeace.org/eu-unit/press-centre/policy-papers-briefings/Comments-on-Polish-draft-GMO-law (30.8.07)

Draft Polish law (English) : http://www.greenpeace.org/eu-unit/press-centre/policy-papers-briefings/Text-of-draft-Polish-GMO-law (30.8.07)

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