Today, the European Parliament dealt another blow to the Commission over GM crops, objecting to the import of Monsanto’s Roundup Ready™ Liberty Link™ GM maize into the EU . The Parliament said the decision to authorize the import of this GM crop was “not consistent with Union law” that aims at a high level of health and environmental protection.
Greenpeace EU food policy director Franziska Achterberg said: “It is crucial that the Parliament challenges the Commission over its policy on genetically modified crops. Despite recurrent promises to change the rules and make the decision process for GM crops more democratic, the Commission has retained its disproportionate powers. It keeps using them extensively to push GM crops on the European market against widespread public opposition.”
Monsanto’s GM maize is engineered to tolerate spraying with two herbicides. This includes glufosinate, which has been classified in the EU as toxic for reproduction, as well as glyphosate, which has been classified by the World Health Organisation (WHO), but not the EU, as probably carcinogenic.
Since November 2014, the Juncker Commission has authorised and renewed the authorisations for import of around 20 GM crops. The US are putting pressure on the Commission as part of the negotiations on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) to speed up GM crop approvals. Whether or not Europe imports GM crops is an important factor in farmers’ decisions to grow them.
The Parliament’s objection is not binding for the Commission.