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GM Foods Deal Stumbling – Greenpeace

  • December 21st, 2010
  • Posted by EUEditor

europe-farms.jpgThe Greenpeace organisation says a system set up within the European Union for management of generically modified (GM) crops is failing.

BREAKING DOWN

Early this year the executive Commission acted under new decision-making rules, when Ministers from national governments, meeting as a European Council, failed to deliver a qualified majority on a GM issue.

The Commission endorsed the importation of GM materials for use in manufacturing of products, such as paper, and for animal feed.

It left it to individual governments to determine whether to permit cultivation of GM crops, under specific environmental controls.

See EUAustralia Online, “Commentary: ‘Black Potato’ wars …”, 4.3.10.

Greenpeace has long disputed claims by the EC, that its support for GM products is based on rigorous scientific evidence, showing they can be managed with safety.

NEW PROBLEMS

Now it says that divisions over the new policy have shown up, at a Council meeting of Environment Ministers at Brussels this week (20.12.10).

“Discussions on the Commission’s proposal that claims to give EU countries the right to ban GM crops are likely to continue into next year”, said the Greenpeace EU agriculture policy adviser, Stefanie Hundsdorfer.

“So far, several EU governments have rejected the proposal or called for substantial amendments.

“The Commission proposal needs to be significantly improved to allow countries to ban GM crops based on scientific evidence on environmental and health risks.

“It’s now two years since all 27 EU countries called for stronger safety testing for GM crops.

“EU ministers must press the Commission to reform its policy on GM crops and clean up the troubled EU food authority.

CITIZEN INITIATIVE

“Two weeks ago, Greenpeace and Avaaz delivered the first-ever European Citizens’ Initiative to the European Commission.

“Over one million Europeans called on the Commission to freeze authorisations of GM crops until safety testing is made independent and scientific.”

CLIMATE CHANGE AT CANCUN

eu-industry-scape.jpgThe environmental organisation has responded more sympathetically to the European Union position on climate change.

Evaluating discussion at the Environment Ministers’ Council about positions taken at the recent Cancun conference, it saw EU positions generally ahead of other parties.

“In Cancun, India, Japan and even China made concessions”, said the Greenpeace EU climate policy director, Joris den Blanken.

“EU ministers were often left on the sidelines, with little new to offer beyond their 20 percent carbon target agreed already three years ago.

“An increase in carbon cuts is a pre-requisite for EU negotiators to play a role in future negotiations and to unlock the benefits of a green economy.”

See also, EUAustralia Online: “GM Seeds: New round in  “Black Potato” wars, 4.9.10; “GM Foods: New import policy starts”, 2.8.10.

Reference

Greenpeace Europe, Brussels, “EU environment Council statement – climate + GM crops”, 20.12.10. http://www.greenpeace.org/eu-unit/press-centre/press-releases2/first-citizens-initiative, (20.12.10).

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