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May 4, 2010

EU Commission Studying Overhaul of GM Crop Regulation System

EurActiv.com and Reuters reported on 4 May 2010 that the European Union (EU) Commission has been assessing the legislative process regulating gene modified (GM) crops.  Changes may be expected as earlier as June 2010.

It appears that negotiations involve fine tuning details between the following two positions.  The first, supported by EU ministers, favors GM free zones.  The second is supported by José Manuel Barroso, president of the European Commission (featured in the photo).  He wants to maintain EU authority over all safety and regulatory approval while allowing countries the freedom to decide whether to cultivate GM crops in their own territories. 

Any changes are expected to be made"within the existing legislative framework."  There is no intention at this point to have any new legislation approved in the European Parliament.

The EU Commission is currently reviewing an internal assessment report that analyzes the impact of proposed changes.  Some points made in this report include:
"a positive impact on biotechnology and seed companies compared to the status quo." 

Possible "negative impact for non-GM farmers ... referring to the risk of unintentional contamination of conventional farm produce" by GM crops."

There is a need to revise EU guidelines on the co-existence of GM and non-GM crops.

Better trade relations with the United States because "[b]iotechnology is an important topic of transatlantic dialogue and therefore relations with the US [...] need to be taken into consideration when developing this initiative, irrespective of the options."
Photo Credit: José Manuel Barroso, president of the European Commission courtesy of Europa.com

For more see: "Paper reveals EU plan to boost GM crop cultivation," EurActiv and Reuters, 4 May 2010.

About Margaret

CEO and Curator (The Food Museum) | Managing Director and Chief Editor (GR2 Global LLC) | Educator (UCLA PhD) | Researching and writing on global food issues, nutrition and health, sustainability, history (preservation), conservation (natural resources), and design.
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