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GMO cultivation in Europe: Guaranteeing choice and security for farmers and consumers. Catherine Soullie MEP

Date

03 Mar 2011

Sections

Agriculture & Food
EU Priorities 2020

Ahead of the review by the European Parliament of the Commission's proposal aiming to define the conditions for authorising or restricting the culture of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) in the European Union, the EPP Group organised a public Hearing on the topic on Wednesday 2 March in the presence of the European Commissioner for Health and Consumer Policy, John Dalli, numerous MEPs, experts, representatives of farmers and representatives of civil society. The Hearing was chaired by Catherine Soullie MEP, EPP Group Spokeswoman on the dossier.

The debate focused mainly on the key question of the coexistence of different types of cultures.

In his speech, Commissioner Dalli underlined the differences among the EU Member States in approaches on the question of GMO cultivation - seven Member States authorised it, while eight Member States established a moratorium on GMO cultivation. "The agenda ahead is full of important challenges but also of opportunities. My decisions will be based on scientific evaluation", said Commissioner Dalli, announcing that a series of workshops would soon be held with all stakeholders.

"The discussion on GMOs must be part of the broader framework of the review of the Common Agricultural Policy", said Catherine Soullie MEP, underlining the balance to find between the need to give European farmers the means to face external competition, and the need to guarantee freedom of choice and security for consumers. "Yes, we need to build an agriculture that can be competitive on the world market, but it should never be at the expense of European consumers' security", Catherine Soullie insisted.

"If the Commission's proposal is adopted as it is, the responsibility for authorising or prohibiting GMO cultivation will rely solely on the Member States. If we are to preserve our Internal Market's coherence, a system that creates distortion of competition between farmers cannot be a solution", she said.

The vote on the Report on the conditions for GMO cultivation is scheduled for 12 April in the European Parliament's Environment, Public Health and Food Safety Committee.

(Translation from the original French)

For further information:
Catherine SOULLIE MEP, Tel: +32-2-2845286
Marion Jeanne, EPP Group Press & Communications Service, Tel: +32-479-840293

Catherine Soullie's Internet Site

UMP, New Centre and the Modern Left MEPs Website

Notes to Editors:
The EPP Group is by far the largest political group in the European Parliament with 265 Members. 

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