“The systems currently in place to open or close the door to genetically modified food and feed to EU markets are not appropriate and need tightening” said Dublin MEP Nessa Childers today, in Strasbourg.
Ms. Childers, a member of the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety Committee, was speaking from the European Parliament after voting to reject a proposal from the European Commission to reform the GMO authorisation process, joined by an overwhelming majority of fellow MEPs.
Ms. Childers said: “The Commission was tempting us with what could be termed a dubious legal offer to allow Member States to ban EU-approved GMOs, while ignoring serious flaws with the approval system in the first place.
“Almost 60% of EU consumers have serious concerns with the safety and the long-term implications of genetically modified organisms. We must take these concerns very seriously and it makes sense allow EU countries to ban GMO feed.
“I don’t think we should sacrifice this freedom to the integrity of the single market. However, we must make sure that this possibility is solid enough to withstand a legal challenge invoking breaches of EU or World Trade Organisation rules.
“I am firmly of the view that we should have a moratorium and halt all GMO approval procedures until we have a serious review of the authorisation system itself.
“Offering some Member States a way to opt out of GMOs as an alternative to a transparent assessment and approval system is not the way to reform these rules.”