During a Plenary Session at the European Union Parliament on July 7,
2022, Italian MEPs expressed their support for the use ofgenetic
modificationtechniques in agriculture for more resilient crop varieties
in light of the heat waves anddroughtsthat are currently affecting Italy
and other parts of Europe.
The plea was made during an exchange with Commission Vice-President
? efÄoviÄ on the recent heat wave and drought in the EU, and what
measures can be taken to remedy the situation and prepare for future
crises. Italian MEP Antonio Tajani said the EU will have to be able to
address the issue with measures beyond emergency measures and asked the
Commission for a long-term plan that guarantees water for citizens and
farming. Tajani, a former EU Commissioner also asked that the use of new
plant breeding techniques be liberalized by "untying them from GMO rules."
â??New agricultural biotechnology can provide experimentation for more
drought- and pest-resistant plants,â? Tajani pleaded, saying these
techniques should be dissociated from the EU's 1999 GMO Directive. As
droughts and intense heat become the new normal in southern Europe,
Italy has declared a state of emergency. Genetically modified crops and
new breeding techniques are seen in Italy as a possible solution to the
challenges posed by climate change. Italy's Minister for Agricultural,
Food and Forestry Policies, Stefano Patuanelli, recently called for
lifting the ban on the use ofGMOsfor animal feed after the country's
food sector was hit by shortages caused by the war in Ukraine.