EU to streamline GMO import approval

Nearly 20 currently blocked genetically modified organisms (GMO) licenses could be activated if the European Union’s (E.U.) newly proposed approval process is accepted, it was announced Wednesday.

The E.U.’s proposals to allow GMO products into its 28-member coalition will be revealed April 22. According to the European Commission’s anticipated plan, member nations would have the authority to make individual decisions regarding genetically modified food, animal feed and flowers.

Resistance to the controversial materials had previously stalled the regulation. This plan will create a compromise wherein each nation or member state will be able to decide autonomously whether to cultivate GMOs without standing in one another’s way. Once the proposal is approved, the commission won't need to oversee specific import cases once a GMO is deemed to be safe by the European Food Safety Agency.

Currently, only one GMO is permitted to be grown in E.U. member nations -- Monsanto's brand of corn GMO MON810, which is grown in Spain, Portugal and the Czech Republic.

At least five environmental groups came forward to oppose the plans, including Greenpeace and Friends of the Earth.

Greenpeace E.U. director Jorgo Riss said: "(Commission President Jean-Claude) Juncker promised he would reform E.U. GM crop decisions to make them more democratic. Instead, he could end up approving more GM crops under the banner of free trade, brushing aside the concerns of E.U. citizens and risks for the environment."

Organizations in this story

Greenpeace European Unit 1040 Brussels, Belgium

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