The European Parliament’s agriculture committee has rejected the European Commission’s proposal to give member states the power to restrict or prohibit the use of EU-approved GM food or feed on their territory.
The committee threw out the proposal by a majority of 28 to eight, with six abstentions, a result which will now be scrutinised by the parliament’s environment committee, which has the lead on this issue.
German MEP, Albert Dess, who drafted the rejection amendment, said that the vote sent a clear message to the Commission, adding that “we have not been building the EU’s single market to let arbitrary political decisions distort it completely”.
“The Commission’s approach is completely unrealistic,” he said. “We have many sectors in the EU that rely to a great extent on imports of GM feed and would not be able to survive if it is banned.
“If we allowed this, then all animal food production in the EU would be at stake, which could make us much more dependent on food imports from third countries that do not necessarily respect our high production standards. And we certainly want to avoid this.”
The environment committee is scheduled to decide its position on the issue in mid-October, after which the full parliament will scrutinise the proposal at a plenary session in Strasbourg on October 26-29.