Biotech Updates

EU Court Rules that Prejudices on GMOs are Unfounded

September 27, 2017

"Do we really wish to have a science-based society or should we let ourselves be governed by prejudices and misconceptions?" ask Roberto Defez, a molecular microbiologist at the Italian National Research Council, and Dennis Eriksson, a researcher at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences. They asked this question in their article in Euractiv, which was published after the EU court ruled that prejudices on GM foods are unfounded.

In the article, they narrated the story of two farmers in Northeastern Italy who wanted to cultivate GM maize. Giorgio Fidenato, one of the farmers, had complained that Italy had denied him the right to grow GM maize (MON810) because of an Italian law passed in 2013. On September 13, the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) delivered a judgment that the Italian law had no legal basis and thus was invalid.

"This sentence is a milestone. GMOs have always been a psychodrama in Europe. After years of controversy among the EU member states, the EU in 2015 lifted the white flag and with the Directive 2015/412 handed over to the individual countries the decision whether or not to allow cultivation of MON810 or any future GMOs approved for cultivation in the EU…The CJEU judgment has now presented a great opportunity to start recovering a rational, science-based approach. The technology to produce GMOs is already old and mainstream. Emerging genome editing technology adds to the diversity of the breeder´s toolbox and provides easy, rapid, precise and powerful means to reduce pesticide inputs as well as help plants to face climate change," the researchers concluded in their article.

Read the rest of the article in Euractiv.