Tag Archives: European Parliament

End of GM moratorium follows relentless high-powered well-funded lobbying by corporations

23 Jan

molly fg gm crops

MEP Molly Scott Cato, who is a member of the Agricultural Committee and spoke during the debate in the European Parliament, says:

“A new system of regulation for genetically modified organisms (GMOs) was voted for by a majority of MEPs this week. The new rules replace a Europe wide ban on GM crops with an in-out option. This allows countries to ban GM crops, but also to opt in and grow crops that have passed the EU’s GMO authorisation process. Given the strong support for GM from both Conservatives and Labour, GM crops that have been authorised by the EU could be grown in England by 2017.

“We aren’t voting on an end to the GM moratorium because of lobbying from our constituents. We have arrived here because of relentless high-powered well-funded lobbying by the corporations who have no interest in our welfare, but instead want to control our food supply and to swell their own profits. Greens will continue to stand with the many small farmers and consumers in the South West who don’t want this dangerous technology.”

Listen to Molly’s contribution to the European Parliament debate and another, most persuasively, in a videoed interview (Farmers Guardian link).


Will ‘determined opposition from GM agribusiness interests’ over-rule the decisions of governments like Scotland, Wales and Germany?

15 Jan

alison mannAlison Mann in the Scottish Farmer writes about the new Directive on Genetically Modified Organisms approved in the European Parliament this week which will allow member states to block – or accept – cultivation of GM crops on their own territory.

She reports that legal services in the European Parliament and Council are raising concerns over whether member states could implement bans without facing determined opposition from agribusiness interests.

Elsewhere comes news of an assessment from the Bundestag’s Green Party indicating that the GMO ban would be threatened by free trade agreements the EU is planning with Canada (CETA) and the United States (TTIP).

testbiotech cover graphic

Free trade – gateway for agricultural genetic engineering ( in German) is a study conducted by Christoph Then, of the possible consequences of TTIP based on the CETA text. (Graphic from cover above).

SNP MEP Alyn Smith described the new rules as a “toxic guddle”

He is concerned that:

  • the new law would not prevent the free circulation of GM products into Scotland,
  • it does not provide for the adequate labelling of products containing GM materials,
  • there are no provisions on how the rules to prevent contamination would be tackled within a member state.

He explained that the SNP are unable to support the new law: “Although in theory this legislation would give the Scottish government the right to ban the cultivation of GM crops on our territory, we are unable to support it due to its wider flaws.”

Some reported flaws:

  • they produce lower yields,
  • now fetch lower prices,
  • overall use more pesticides
  • face problems with pests becoming resistant to some pesticides
  • face problems with weeds resistant to a wide range of weedkillers
  • currently no GM crops authorised for use in the EU can be grown in England.