Thursday

6th Oct 2022

Brussels okays four GMO products

The European Commission has authorised four genetically modified products for the European market after EU member states failed to decide either for or against the biotech crops.

The GMOs – three types of maize and a sugar beet – are authorised for the next ten years and will be imported for use in food and animal feed, the European Commission confirmed on Wednesday (24 October).

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Become an expert on Europe

Get instant access to all articles — and 20 years of archives. 14-day free trial.

... or subscribe as a group

  • Recent surveys have shown that around 70 percent of Europeans are against GMOs (Photo: EUobserver)

EU member states in September failed to agree by majority on whether or not to authorise the GMOs proposed by the commission for the EU market.

According to EU rules, in that case the commission is empowered to take the final decision on the basis of an assessment from the European Food and Safety Agency (EFSA).

The commission has authorised the GMOs in all such cases so far. "The commission normally stands by its original proposal," a commission spokesman said on Wednesday.

"All of the GMOs received positive safety assessments from EFSA and underwent the full authorisation procedure set out under EU legislation…[and] will be subject to the EU's strict labelling and traceability rules," the commission said in a statement.

There are currently 15 authorised GMO products in the 27-member bloc - including the latest four biotech products- while an authorisation for a genetically modified potato is pending.

European farmers, industrial food and chemical producers have been complaining that the EU's stringent position against GMOs created a disadvantage for them against their foreign competitors.

On the other hand, recent surveys have shown that around 70 percent of Europeans are against GMOs which are seen as unnatural, with some people arguing the effects of genetically modified organisms are not fully known yet.

The EU had a moratorium on allowing GMOs on its market from 2000 to 2004. In 2006, the World Trade Organization ruled that the EU was unfairly blocking GMOs from entering its markets.

France considers 'freezing' commercialisation of GMOs

The French government is preparing to "freeze the commercialisation" of genetically modified seeds until the adoption of a new law on the issue, amid fears that the spread of GM seeds cannot be controlled.

EU paves way for GM potato

The European Commission is set to push ahead with a genetically modified variety of potato, following a stalemate among EU member states over its approval. Brussels argues the product is safe despite some NGOs claiming the opposite.

EU states deal blow to Brussels by backing GMO ban

EU member states have for the third time snubbed the European Commission by backing a national ban on genetically modified maize products - in this case Hungary - which Brussels says is against international trade rules.

News in Brief

  1. Sweden: Nord Stream probe points to 'gross sabotage'
  2. Orbán rails against Russia sanctions at Prague summit
  3. MEPs urge inquiry into Mahsa Amini killing and Iran sanctions
  4. Thousands of Hungarian students and teachers protest
  5. Swedish MEP cuts hair mid-speech to support Iran women
  6. Danish general election called for 1 November
  7. Slovenia legalises gay marriage, adoption
  8. Russia's stand-in EU ambassador reprimanded on Ukraine

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Obama FoundationThe Obama Foundation Opens Applications for its Leaders Program in Europe
  2. The European Association for Storage of EnergyRegister for the Energy Storage Global Conference, held in Brussels on 11-13 Oct.
  3. EFBWW – EFBH – FETBBA lot more needs to be done to better protect construction workers from asbestos
  4. European Committee of the RegionsThe 20th edition of EURegionsWeek is ready to take off. Save your spot in Brussels.
  5. UNESDA - Soft Drinks EuropeCall for EU action – SMEs in the beverage industry call for fairer access to recycled material
  6. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic prime ministers: “We will deepen co-operation on defence”

Latest News

  1. What actually happened at the 'most complicated election in the world'?
  2. Europe lays aside quarrels to isolate Putin
  3. Spyware-hacked MEPs still seeking answers
  4. EU leaders discuss gas price cap — amid rationing fear
  5. Germany braces for criticism of national €200bn energy fund
  6. The fossil-fuel agenda behind EU's carbon-capture plans
  7. Four weeks to COP27 — key issues and challenges
  8. EU wants to see US list on Russia financing of politicians

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us