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GMOs: Commission abdicates responsibility to Member States


13 Jul 2010


Agriculture & Food

"Today's decision by the European Commission to give Member States the final word over the planting of genetically modified crops is an abdication of responsibility, undermines the integrity of the Internal Market and sets a dangerous precedent for finding common solutions to other cross border issues," said Guy Verhofstadt, Liberal and Democrat group leader today.

"Whatever one's view on the benefits or risks associated with GMOs, the matter is one of common European interest and concern and, as such, requires a unified approach across all Member States. The decision to allow or prohibit GMO crops should be based on the most thorough and informative scientific analysis. By devolving responsibility to national and even regional authorities the Commission is fragmenting the Common Agricultural Policy and the Single Market and allowing politics to interfere at every level of government."

"It is the duty of the Commission to seek and find a solution, even to the most difficult issues and particularly in the absence national consensus. That is the whole point of the EU. What next ? Do we give up on trying to agree a Community patent or allow Member States to set their own fishing quotas ? This is a sad day for European integration and should be resisted by all those who defend the Community method of decision-making."

Note to editors:

The European Commission is today announcing new guidelines for the development of national cultivation measures of GMOs in which Member States are made primarily responsible for taking any necessary steps to avoid the unintended presence or contamination of conventional or organic crops.