September 8, 2015
A draft law by European Commission - that would grant EU member state autonomous authority in controlling or banning the use of bloc-approved genetically-modified (GM) feed or food in their territories - had been rejected by the agriculture committee.
Concerns were raised about how such a law could upset the EU's single market as well as disrupting food production in the region which is highly dependent on GM feed imports. The agriculture committee's opinion garnered 28 supporting votes against eight opposing votes, and will be considered by the environment committee before an European Parliament vote.
"We have not been building the EU's single market to let arbitrary political decisions distort it completely," said Albert Dess, the draftsman of the opinion and a German MEP from the European People's Party.
Dess declared the draft law as "completely unrealistic", adding that the survival of several sectors in the EU would be acutely compromised when a ban on GM feed takes effect. In addition, with EU's animal food production affected, the bloc would have to source imports from third countries which may not follow EU production standards.
"We certainly want to avoid this," Dess added.
The environment committee will adopt its position at a meeting on October 12-13. The European Parliament could then scruntinise the proposal during a plenary session in Strasbourg, France, on October 26-29.