5 ag stories to read now: GMOs, trade approvals and Europe

5 ag stories to read now: GMOs, trade approvals and Europe

Discussion about GMO trait approvals heats up in the EU as some member states push forward and others push back; trade at risk, a U.S. group says

Europe is at a crossroads when it comes to keeping the public happy and legislating GM crop cultivation and import, as referenced by the European Commission's lengthy list of pending biotech trait approvals and the attention on EU's newest law to give member-states more freedom on GMOs.

In the stories below, follow EU's new law, rumors of a proposed EU GMO import regulation, when we'll hear more about pending biotech trait approvals, and what science interests are saying.

1. EU law allows member-states to ban GM crops, even after EU approval.

Reuters

Cloth scarecrows from Friends of The Earth are propped up outside Parliament as part of a demonstration against GM crops, February 23, 2005 in London, England. (Photo by Graeme Robertson/Getty Images)

An EU bill addressing divided opinions on GM crops seeks to "keep everyone happy" by giving member states the right to ban GM crops, even after they have been approved by the European Commission.

The GM industry says the law may impose greater restrictions on GM farming, but the EU Commissioner for health and food safety, said the law is "a positive step in aligning the legislation with citizens' expectations while respecting the rights of all parties."

2. Lack of GM approval in EU, more member-country import control hurts ag sector.
U.S. Grains Council

The EU is reportedly considering a policy that will allow some of its member states to deny importing of food and feed products containing biotechnology events approved by the European Food Safety Agency, the U.S. Grains Council said last week.

According to the USGC, such a policy could violate World Trade Organization standards and "undermine the economic growth and competitiveness of the EU food, feed, breeding and livestock sectors."

3. 13 pending GMO trait approvals in EU to be considered April 22..
Feed Navigator

The EU Feed Manufacturers Association says the EU Commission is ready to break its 18-month moratorium on 13 GM crop traits that already have been approved by the European food safety authority, but the group is concerned about the proposal to give individual states more control over approval.

The meeting on the EU GM trait approval is set for April 22, the same day a review of the EU GMO authorization process is supposed to take place.

4. Science speaks out on EU member states' GMO import control.
Chemistry World

The German government is considering a new law to ban genetic modified organisms after the European parliament passed a law allowing EU states to restrict or ban the cultivation of EU-approved GM crops, a proposition opposed by Germany's national academy of sciences.

Other EU nations are also expected in coming months to consider new laws banning GM crops within their borders, Chemistry World's Ned Stafford says.

5. Former EU science adviser discusses European sentiment on GM crops, policy
Public Radio International

A former chief scientific adviser to the president of the European Commission discusses what happens behind closed doors during discussions in the EU about biotech – and what that means for current and future regulations.

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