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Crop Biotech Update

EU's Agriculture Committee Opposes National Bans on GM Food and Feed Imports

September 9, 2015

The agriculture committee of the European Parliament rejected the Commission's draft law that would give member states the power to restrict or prohibit the use of EU-approved GM food or feed on their territory. It fears that arbitrary national bans could distort competition on the EU's single market and jeopardize the Union's food production sectors which are heavily dependent on imports of GM feed.

The agriculture committee's opinion, adopted by 28 votes in favor to eight against, with six abstentions, will now be closely looked at by the environment committee, which has the lead on this file.

Albert Dess, draftsman of the opinion, said, "Today's vote in the agriculture committee sends a clear message: the Commission's proposal to allow member states to decide whether or not to restrict or ban the use of GM food and feed on their territory must be rejected. We have not been building the EU's single market to let arbitrary political decisions distort it completely." Dess added that the Commission's approach is completely unrealistic, as many sectors in the EU greatly rely on GM feed imports, and would not be able to survive if it is banned.

For more details, read the news release at the European Parliament News Portal.