Environment MEPs oppose plans to approve four GMOs

By Jane Byrne

- Last updated on GMT

© Gettyimages/Canetti
© Gettyimages/Canetti

Related tags GMO glyphosate

The EU Parliament's ENVI committee is opposing the EU Commission’s plans to approve the import of certain GMO products.

The Environment, Public Health and Food Safety Committee (ENVI) of the European Parliament, in a vote yesterday [November 6], moved to reject the EU Commission’s plans to authorize the import of products containing four glyphosate and glufosinate ammonium resistant GMOs.

The MEPs called on the Commission to withdraw its draft implementing decisions on these products. The vote yesterday followed the decision of the Plenary on October 10, 2019 to oppose three other herbicide-resistant GMOs.

The authorizations cover the import of products containing or consisting of GMOs cotton LLCotton25, soybean MON 89788, maize MON 89034 including sub-combinations and maize Bt11 × MIR162 × MIR604 × 1507 × 5307 × GA21 including sub-combinations.

These GMOs have been made tolerant to glyphosate-based and glufosinate ammonium-based herbicides.

The MEPs argue that several studies show that such GM crops result in a higher use of weed killers. The crop may be exposed to repeated doses, which potentially lead to higher quantity of residues in the harvest, they say.

Next steps

The non-binding resolutions will be put to a vote during the Brussels Plenary on November 14.

The policymakers also stressed that, since the current GM authorization process came into force, the Commission continues to approve GMOs despite the lack of support from Member States and the numerous objections of the EU Parliament.

“It is unacceptable that what should be the exception is becoming the norm," ​they stressed.

Update on 'opt-out' proposal sought 

The MEPs also brought up the legislation proposing to amend Regulation (EC) No 1829/2003​, originally mooted in 2015.

That EU law would have enabled any EU member state to restrict or prohibit the sale and use of EU-approved GMO food or feed on its territory. It was opposed by Parliament in October 2015, with MEPs and others concerned that the ruling might prove unworkable or that it could lead to the reintroduction of border checks between pro- and anti-GMO countries.

The ENVI MEPs are now calling on the Commission to table a new proposal in relation to this. 

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