Call to halt new GM maize authorisation

MEPs opposed EU Commission plans to authorise imports of food and feed products derived from or containing a herbicide and pest-resistant genetically modified (GM) maize in a resolution voted on Wednesday. It highlights the lack of data on the many sub-combinations of the variety – all of which would also be authorised – and reiterates Parliament’s call for a reform of the EU’s GMO authorisation procedure.

MEPs stressed that hundreds of comments criticising the plans were submitted by member states during the three-month consultation period, pointing to, inter alia, missing information and poorly-performed studies and tests.

The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) nonetheless gave a favourable opinion on the plans on 26 August 2016. MEPs note that a minority opinion voiced within the EFSA GMO panel states that no specific data on any of the 20 sub-combinations had been provided by the applicant.

MEPs also pointed out that the EU Commission is still authorising GMOs in the EU without the support of opinions of member state committees. This was supposed to be an exception to the usual decision-taking procedure, but has in fact become the norm.

The non-binding resolution was adopted by 426 votes to 230, with 38 abstentions.

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