Checkbiotech: Biotech industry laments Member States' 'lack of political coherence' on GM
www.czu.cz ; www.raupp.info
Following a decision by European environment ministers to reject the import
to the EU of Monsanto's genetically modified (GM) GT73 oilseed rape, the
biotech industry has hit back at what it calls 'a lack of political
coherence' in the regulatory framework for GM crops, Dezember 2004.
On 20 December, ministers in the EU Environment Council rejected the
importation and feed use of GT73, which is resistant to Monsanto's own
herbicide, glyphosate. Since a qualified majority could not be reached in
the Council, it will now fall to the Commission to make a final decision.
According to a statement by EuropaBio, the European Association for
Bioindustries, the industry is concerned by the lack of coherence between
what Member States agreed when they approved the current authorisation
process, and what they do when it actually comes to authorising a product.
'Despite the positive recommendations from the European Food Safety Agency
(EFSA), some Member States keep voting negatively or abstain from voting,'
reads the EuropaBio statement.
According to Simon Barber, director of the plant biotechnology unit for
EuropaBio: 'Member States are not facing up to their responsibilities.
[They] are ignoring the very laws on GM crops that they and the European
Parliament have set up over the past five years.
'As long as it remains like this, Member States are denying Europe's farmers
the choice to use a technology which can help them be competitive,' Mr
GT73 was first planted commercially in Canada in 1996, and has since been
approved in Australia, the US, Mexico, the Philippines, Korea and Japan. In
the EU, oil derived from GT73 oilseed rape was approved for use in foods in
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