European Parliament vote on Genetically Modified Organisms

13 January 2015

Labour MEPs voted today to give national governments the power to limit or ban the cultivation of genetically modified organisms.

Today’s agreement requires those countries who choose to cultivate GMOs to introduce coexistence measures for border areas, allowing national governments to take into account both scientific evidence and citizens' concerns before making a decision on whether or not to introduce GMO cultivation.

Paul Brannen MEP, Labour's European spokesperson on agriculture, said:

"We have voted to give national governments the possibility of limiting or banning the cultivation of genetically modified crops on their territory. In addition, this this deal provides for strengthened environmental impact assessment of new GMOs as well as more robust coexistence measures for better management between GM and non-GM crops.

"These new measures are welcome news for those who care about the environment, as they will provide better safeguards against unwanted influence of agribusiness or biotech companies by weakening their role in the authorisation process for new GMOs.

"Labour MEPs supported this deal because it introduces new rules on environmental impact assessment and coexistence measures which will contribute to better management of different crops throughout the EU, responding to environmental concerns.

"This should be also good news for the fast growing, environmentally friendly and job-generating organic sector which cannot afford to be contaminated by GM crops."

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