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Originally published January 18 2015

EU government votes to allow GMO bans across Europe

by Ethan A. Huff, staff writer

(NaturalNews) After much ballyhooing about what the law would end up entailing for the future of biotechnology in Europe, the European Parliament has decided to pass a resolution allowing individual EU member states the freedom to "opt out" of any potential future approvals for genetically modified organisms (GMOs) if they should decide that the crops will interfere with their own environmental, socioeconomic, planning and farming goals.

The provision, which received harsh criticism from both sides of the issue, will allow for individual member states to sidestep any future parliamentary GMO approvals and make their own autonomous agriculture decisions -- you know, like they used to do before the EU was established. At the same time, some are calling the ruling a "Trojan horse" for biotechnology companies to gain further inroads into a continent that overwhelmingly opposes having its food crops hijacked by chemical companies.

"Despite a majority of EU member states and citizens being consistently opposed to GMOs, the real purpose of this new scheme is to make it easier to wave through EU authorizations of GMO crops," stated Bart Staes, a Green Party MEP and spokesman for food safety, as reported by Common Dreams.

There is currently only one GMO being grown anywhere in Europe, and Europeans don't want any more

The problem with the new law is that it portends a future in which more GMOs will be approved for the European market, something that Europeans at large staunchly oppose. The only GMO crop currently being grown anywhere in Europe is Monsanto's MON810 GM maize. And it is only being grown in a few countries, primarily in Spain and Portugal -- many other European nations, including France, Germany and Italy, have banned all cultivations of MON810.

But as evidenced by the presence of GM canola (rapeseed) now growing wild across Europe -- even though GM canola isn't even approved for planting anywhere in Europe -- GMOs can't truly be contained. And Europeans fully understand this, which is why they vehemently oppose the introduction of any new GMOs into their crop systems, something that the new law won't necessarily prohibit.

Staes believes that, despite what it might appear to be on its surface, the new provision is "finally opening the door to genetically-modified organisms across Europe, in spite of citizens' clear opposition," as quoted by Reuters.

Biotech companies claim they have no immediate plans to introduce more GMOs in Europe

The world's most evil multinational corporation, Monsanto, denies that the law has any egregious intent. Company spokesman Brandon Mitchener told Chemistry World that Europe won't see any new biotech crops for at least the next 10 years, and that most biotech companies have already abandoned the European market due to intense opposition to GMOs.

Unlike in the U.S., it is much more difficult to gain GMO approvals in Europe, which is why biotech companies have focused their efforts elsewhere. According to Beat Spath from EuropaBio, an industry association representing the biotech industry, there are currently seven GM crops waiting to be approved, and most (or all) of them will more than likely remain there indefinitely or be rejected.

"Our research and development work is mainly conducted in the places where the resulting products are actually used, and in the case of GM that is not in Europe," says Richard Breum, a spokesman for Bayer CropScience, another GMO purveyor. "That will not change with the new law."


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