Over Half of E.U. Countries Are Opting Out of GMOs
Sixteen countries have alerted the European Union that they want to opt out of E.U.-approved GM crops.
Members of the economic bloc have until Oct. 3 to let the E.U. know if they were requesting to opt out of growing GMO produce from major companies like Monsanto, Dow, Syngenta and Pioneer, and according to the Food Navigator, a food trade publication, countries including Germany, Italy, Denmark, Bulgaria and Cyprus recently filed their requests and applications, increasing the number to 16. Exactly how many countries will ultimately opt out could be confirmed as soon as Monday.
In August, Scotland publicly said it would prohibit GMO crops out of concern that they could damage the country’s “clean and green” brand.
“Scotland is known around the world for our beautiful natural environment – and banning growing genetically modified crops will protect and further enhance our clean, green status,” Rural affairs secretary Richard Lochhead said in a statement at the time.
“A growing number of governments are rejecting the commission’s drive for GM crop approvals,” Greenpeace’s E.U. food policy director Franziska Achterberg told the Guardian. “They don’t trust the E.U. safety assessments and are rightly taking action to protect their agriculture and food. The only way to restore trust in the E.U. system now is for the commission to hit the pause button on GM crop approvals and to urgently reform safety testing and the approval system.”
The Guardian reports that environmentalists have praised the news, while industry and biotech supporters have responded to opt-outs with “weary resignation.”