EU MEMBER STATES BACK COMPROMISE ON GM CROPS
Last Wednesday, the EU struck a compromise on genetically modified (GM) crops that will make it easier for them to win approval from some member states while allowing other countries to ban them. The deal was widely supported by EU member states; the UK farming and environment minister was hopeful that the compromise would “unblock the dysfunctional EU process for approving GM crops,” while France, which recently upheld a domestic ban on GM maize, was reassured that their opposition to such crops would be respected. Some environmentalists, however, feel that the deal gives too much power to companies. Under the proposal, countries that oppose GM cultivation would have to go through the Commission in order to exclude GM companies, but environmental campaigners, including Adrian Bebb of Friends of the Earth Europe, feel that member states should have the power to ban unwanted GM crops on their own. The biotech industry was also apprehensive of the compromise, fearing that the proposed deal could allow crops to be blocked on “non-scientific grounds.” For the full story, see http://uk.reuters.com/article/2014/05/28/us-eu-gmos-idUKKBN0E81AZ20140528.