European Parliament rejects opt-out proposal for GMOs

This week, the European Union’s Parliament rejected the European Commission’s April proposal for national bans on genetically modified food-and-feed-stuffs.

The proposal would have allowed any country to restrict or ban the use of products containing biotech traits previously approved by the European Food Safety Agency and the European Commission.

If the proposal had been approved, it would have created regulatory and legal uncertainties, fragmented the single E.U. market and increased costs for importers, feed manufacturers and European consumers.

The commission still believes it is the best option to solve disagreements about genetically modified organisms and, therefore, has not withdrawn the proposal. The European Council of Ministers will continue to have discussions on withdrawing the proposal or submitting a new proposal.

“Despite the rejection by the European Parliament, the fate of the opt-out legislation remains uncertain and continues to be one more distraction in the context of the very complicated Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (T-TIP) negotiations," Floyd Gaibler, U.S. Grains Council director of trade policy and biotechnology, said. "Market access; timely, predictable, science-based regulations; and regulatory transparency remain top priorities for U.S. agriculture. We are supposed to be negotiating one agreement with a one-market E.U. for the benefit of producers in both countries, not 28 separate side deals.”

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