Call to halt new GM maize authorisation
MEPs oppose EU Commission plans to authorise imports of food and feed products derived from or containing a herbicide and pest-resistant genetically modified (GM) maize in a resolution voted on Wednesday. It highlights the lack of data on the many sub-combinations of the variety - all of which would also be authorised - and reiterates Parliament’s call for a reform of the EU’s GMO authorisation procedure.
MEPs stress that hundreds of comments criticising the plans were submitted by member states during the three-month consultation period, pointing to, inter alia, missing information and poorly-performed studies and tests.
The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) nonetheless gave a favourable opinion on the plans on 26 August 2016. MEPs note that a minority opinion voiced within the EFSA GMO panel states that no specific data on any of the 20 sub-combinations had been provided by the applicant.
MEPs also point out that the EU Commission is still authorising GMOs in the EU without the support of opinions of member state committees. This was supposed to be an exception to the usual decision-taking procedure, but has in fact become the norm.
The non-binding resolution was adopted by 426 votes to 230, with 38 abstentions.
Note to editors
The draft implementing decision by the European Commission would authorise GM maize Bt11 × 59122 × MIR604 × 1507 × GA21, and all 20 of the sub-combinations of its events.
A separate EU law that would enable any EU member state to restrict or prohibit the sale and use of EU-approved GMO food or feed on its territory was opposed by Parliament in October 2015. MEPs are concerned that this law might prove unworkable or that it could lead to the reintroduction of border checks between pro- and anti-GMO countries. They called on the Commission to table a new proposal.