Thursday, September 3, 2015

Two More EU Member States Opt Out of GMO Cultivation

Written by Tyler R. Etter

On August 28, 2015, both Latvia and Greece made clear their intentions to utilize the European Union (EU) member state option to opt-out of the approval of the cultivation GMO crops. The two member states are the first to officially petition for the exercise of the option, but both Germany and Scotland have signaled their intentions to exercise the option.

Currently, there is only one GMO product approved for cultivation in the EU, the Monsanto corn product M810. The EU member state opt-out allows for individual member states to decide if the state will continue to allow the cultivation of an approved GMO product, or any future products that are pending approval.

In a statement about the opt-outs of these nations, Monsanto said that the opt-outs will not harm business, as genetic modification in Europe is only a small part of the operation. Further commenting, the company stated “Nevertheless, we regret that some countries are deviating from a science-based approach...” commenting on the continued concerns about the safety of M810, in what Monsanto claims “contradicts and undermines the scientific consensus...”

Following the announcement, environmental campaigners have taken to calling on additional nations to follow in the way of Latvia and Greece. Despite the wide use of GM products in the Americas and Asia, the European market shows continued fierce opposition to the use of these products.

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