Greens are warning that new EU legislation could open the way for GM crops to be grown in the South West. A planned compromise deal would allow EU states the option of banning genetically modified crops, but Greens say the legislation could in fact provide the opportunity for numerous new GMO crops to be cultivated across the EU.

Greens say the new legislation will open the way for the biotech industry because governments wishing to maintain a ban on GM crops will be obliged to negotiate with the applying company [1]. Major questions around cross-border contamination between a country banning GM crops and a member allowing them to be grown are also not addressed in the proposals say Greens. Further pressure also comes from the proposed Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP); a proposed EU-US trade deal.

The law will need approval from the European Parliament and the Green group will be opposing the legislation, continuing to favour a complete EU ban on genetically modified crops. They have called on Environment Ministers to reject the proposals. Molly Scott Cato, Green MEP for the South West, is a member of the European Parliament’s Agriculture Committee, so will be monitoring the situation closely. She fears the legislation would be used by the UK government to push for GM crops in the UK.

“We know that the UK government is in favour of GM and there is the prospect of the new law being used as a way of opening up the UK to growing of GM crops. That would be a disaster for the South West, a region renowned for its small scale and innovative farmers producing high quality foods. Many of these farmers demonstrate exemplary sustainable farming practices and the prospect of contamination from GM crops is deeply alarming”, said Dr Scott Cato.

ENDS

Notes

[1] Greens in the European Parliament: GMO-free EU under threat: http://www.greens-efa.eu/gmo-free-eu-under-threat-12472.html

[2] New trade deal threat to SW farmers: http://southwest.greenparty.org.uk/news.html/2014/07/14/new-trade-deal-threat-to-south-west-farmers/

 

For more information please contact:

Andrew Bell, Media Officer to Molly Scott Cato MEP abell@phonecoop.coop 07903 932220 @aw_bell

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