Greens have said that the Commission’s approval of 10 new genetically modified organisms (GMOs) for import go against public wishes. Alongside this approval, the Commission has also renewed the authorisations of a further 7 GMOs, and given approval to 2 genetically modified flowers, bringing the total to 19 authorisations this month.

Many of the authorisations apply to protein imports which will be used for animal feed. Greens argue this represents a missed opportunity for farmers in the South West and across Europe who will continue to rely on imports. They agrue that home-grown leguminous crops would provide GMO-free alternatives and boost soil quality by fixing nitrogen levels.

Molly Scott Cato MEP, who sits on the Agricultural Committee in the European Parliament, said:

“Giving the go-ahead to these GMOs is an affront to democracy as a majority of EU member states were not in favour of them. We also know that EU citizens continue to say no to GMO. Giving the green light to these GMOs – many of which will end up as animal feed – means we have no way of knowing whether the animals we eat have been fed GMO feed or not; there is no labelling for this. This leaves consumers with only the organic option to truly guarantee GMO free meat.”

The recent approvals for more GMOs follows a Commission proposal of a further ‘opt-out’, which would allow Member States to impose their own national bans on GMO imports. This comes after a similar opt-out for GMO cultivation was agreed in January. Greens argue that such opt-outs are difficult to enforce alongside single market rules. They also point to the unresolved issue of GMO authorisations at EU level, a process the Commission itself has recognized is flawed and undemocratic.