Keith Taylor, Green MEP for the South East, has welcomed a decisive victory for GMO campaigners as the European Parliament voted to object to the authorisation of genetically modified cotton and maize in Strasbourg on Wednesday.
The vote comes just twenty-hours after an appeal committee of national experts voted on the proposal to authorise the two licences. Both GMOs are specifically designed to be used with herbicides that pose risks to human health. The appeal committee, like the standing committee before it, failed to reach a qualified majority in favour. MEPs today voted to object to both licenses by a majority of more than 200.
Commenting after the vote, Mr Taylor, a member of the European Parliament’s Environment and Public Health Committee said:
“Today’s vote is a welcome victory for GMO campaigners and one in the eye for agri-corporations. Both of the GMOs we voted down today are specifically designed to be tolerant to herbicides that pose a credible risk to human health. We can feed ourselves and our farm animals without resorting to dangerous and unnecessary GM crops and an abundant cocktail of toxic chemical products. Greens continue to make this case.”
“And it is clear people are listening; time and time again, the European Parliament has expressed its opposition to GMOs, as have a majority of Member States in numerous committee decisions. The message is clear. The world already produces enough food for 10bn people, but agri-corporations argue we need GM to feed the world. We don’t. Our focus should not be on increasing production, but rather on reducing food waste and radically reorganising our wasteful and inefficient food distribution system.”
“While MEPs continue to stand up to agri-corporations, Tory Ministers have suggested Brexit could be ‘an opportunity’ to water down Britain’s GM crop regulation. As Greens, we will be fighting to make sure this doesn’t happen; it is vital we maintain and strengthen EU GM safeguards post-Brexit. For the health of British people, the environment and farmers, the UK must not be flooded with untested genetically modified crops.”