Lidstaten mogen genetisch gemodificeerde gewassen blijven weren

The EU has sought to resolve years of acrimony over the status of genetically modified crops by giving each of its 28 member states the final say over whether they can be grown within their borders.

While GM crops are common in America and Asia, they remain divisive in Europe. Brussels has repeatedly insisted that US companies such as Monsanto will not be able to use a transatlantic trade deal under negotiation with Washington to push Europe to buy more GM crops.

At the European Parliament in Strasbourg on Tuesday, lawmakers voted that each national government should be allowed to ban the planting of GM crops, even if they had been declared safe by Brussels. This rare opt-out from Europe’s hallowed single market showed how intractable positions had become.

The measure was passed with a majority of 480 to 159. Activists and businesses remained split over whether the parliamentary compromise meant that the EU would soon be open to other biotech crops. At present, only one is in cultivated: a variety of GM maize developed by Monsanto.

Green lawmakers voted against the measure, arguing that Europe would indeed now turn to more bio-engineered crops. Some also predicted that food safety authorities in Brussels would be more inclined to approve pending GM licences because of the safety net offered by individual countries being able to ban them.

“I believe what this will mean in reality for the UK is more GMOs not fewer,” said Keith Taylor, a Green lawmaker. “This is because our pro-GM government are now able to give the go-ahead to more authorisations.”

Lees verder op de Financial Times