The Commission favours the cultivation of more GMOs in Europe

Press conference by Tonio Borg, Member of the European Commission in charge of Health, on Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs). He probably shows us, with both his hands, the future path for GMOs cultivation. (EC Audiovisual Services, 06/11/2013

Press conference by Tonio Borg, Member of the European Commission in charge of Health, on Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs). He probably shows us, with both his hands, the future path for GMOs cultivation. (EC Audiovisual Services, 06/11/2013

The delay in the process of negotiations for the conclusion of the EU-US trade agreement seems to have opened the opportunity to clarify some thorny matters between the two largest trading partners of the world. One of them is surely the cultivation on EU soil of Monsanto’s genetically modified ‘Pioneer 1507’ maize seed. Apart from the environmental and health issues around this affair, the basic economic characteristic of all genetically modified seeds for sowing is that farmers cannot keep a part of the crop to use it next year as seeds for sowing, nor it is possible to reproduce the genetically modified seeds with standard cultivation methods. Very simply, nobody else can reproduce those seeds, except Monsanto. Consequently, farmers would have to keep buying their seeds for sowing year after year from this US firm. In the long-term all production will depend on Monsanto.

In the case of Pioneer 1507 maize, imports have already been freed for human and animal feed uses, but the cultivation of it is always prohibited. This is what the Commission wants now to change – to release the possibility of this genetically modified maize cultivation on European soil. Naturally, this will be done with seeds imported from the US firm Monsanto, a world leader in this unnatural seed production. The EU has already authorised the cultivation on European soil of another GMO seed, the MON 810 maize, also a Monsanto product. According to the legislation in force, member states can either permit or ban the cultivation of GMOs on their territory.

One GMO cultivation freed

Eight Member States (Austria, Bulgaria, Greece, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Luxembourg and Poland) adopted safeguard measures and prohibited the cultivation of the GM maize MON 810 within their borders. However, according to the Commission in 2012, MON 810 was cultivated in Spain (116,306 hectares), Portugal (9,278 hectares), Czech Republic (3,052 hectares), Romania (217 hectares) and Slovakia (189 hectares).

The story of ‘Pioneer 1507’ starts back in 2001, when Monsanto asked for a license to import this seed for sowing for cultivation on EU soil. After all those years of ‘no decision’, on 26 September 2013, the General Court issued a judgment in relation to the legal case T-164/10 by which it stresses that “the Commission failed to act under Directive 2001/18/EC by not submitting to the Council a proposal under Article 5(4) of the Council Decision 1999/468/EC”. This decision obliges the Commission to act accordingly.

In view of this EU Court decision, the Commission issued a Press release yesterday stating “This 2001 request falls under the “old” pre-Lisbon comitology procedure, which means that if the Council is not able to muster a qualified majority, either for or against the authorisation, then the Commission is obliged by law to grant the authorisation”.

Is it true?

Commissioner in charge of Health, Tonio Borg, said yesterday: “Duty bound to comply with the ruling of the Court, the Commission has decided today to send a draft decision of authorisation of the maize 1507 to the Council: in the coming months, ministers will be invited to take a position on this authorisation request”. He also explained that if the decision of the Council is positive, member states will be still able to ban the cultivation on their soil.

However the question is, if the Commission is obliged to introduce this case to the Council of Ministers with a positive recommendation. Understandably, the ruling of the European Court just asks the Commission to act. It doesn’t say what the content of the recommendation to the Council should be. Unfortunately, the responsible Commissioner takes one more step forward and says that if the Council is unable to decide either way, the EU’s executive arm is obliged to grant the licence, under the pre-Lisbon Treaty comitology procedure.

This may be another legal ‘saltus’ of the Commissioner. The obvious purpose of it may be to pave the way for the forthcoming continuation and positive conclusion of negotiations on the EU-US trade agreement. Imports of GMOs from the US for consumption and cultivation, has been a major issue between the two sides, with the EU half-heartedly trying to stop them, not always successfully.

The sure thing is that a license to cultivate this Pioneer 1507 seed on EU soil will also pave the way, for the use of more GMOs in Europe as a standard agricultural production method. In this way, the European food and animal feed production will be made dependant on Monsanto’s supplies of seeds for sowing in the decades to come.

the sting Milestones

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

Obesity rates soar due to dramatic global diet shift, says UN food agency

Which countries get the most sleep – and how much do we really need?

EU mobilises emergency assistance following floods in Ukraine

Change is happening – and young people are leading the way forward

Women must have an equal share in politics, say MEPs and national MPs

Making the move to more sustainable mobility – three steps for companies

How Europe’s science offers hope in tackling the climate emergency

The EU Commission by serving the banks offers poor support to European mainstream political parties

Creating shared value: an opportunity and challenge for entrepreneurship

May led Britain to chaos, now looks for way out with unpredictable DUP

Why maps matter in our response to COVID-19

A record one million Syrians displaced over six months, during six key battles: UN investigators

American negotiators can’t pay for their trip to Brussels, EU-US trade agreement freezes

We need to protect 30% of the planet by 2030. This is how we can do it

The Commission calls for a climate neutral Europe by 2050*

Negotiations on new EU collective redress rules to begin

How to unleash the enormous power of global healthcare data

EYE to kick off on Friday: 8000+ young people discussing the future of Europe 1 – 2 June

On Kristallnacht anniversary, UN chief urges renewed fight against ‘crime’ of anti-Semitism

At last Britain considers a super-soft Brexit

A Sting Exclusive: “Europe must be more ambitious in COP21 and lead on climate finance and sustainable development”, Green UK MEP Jean Lambert points out from Brussels

UN must bring more women police officers into the fold to be effective – UN peacekeeping official

This simple solution might help with one of the biggest challenges of working from home

Consumer protection: Commission revises EU rules on product safety and consumer credit

Libya’s migrants and refugees with tuberculosis ‘left to die’ in detention centres

How Europe’s green tech ‘scale-ups’ can help tackle climate change

Eurozone’s credibility rock solid

Coronavirus: Commission unveils EU vaccines strategy

#TwitterisblockedinTurkey and so is Erdogan

This is why attractive cities do better economically

Global hunger is on the rise. These simple steps could help eradicate it

UN General Assembly celebrates 20 years of promoting a culture of peace

UN chief seeking ‘renewed commitment’ to global rules and values, as world leaders head to New York

EU founding values: Commission starts legal action against Hungary and Poland for violations of fundamental rights of LGBTIQ people

This wristband tells you what food to buy based on your DNA

Disillusioned young people – France thinks it has a solution

New El Salvador law, a victory for forced displacement victims: UN refugee agency

Look no hands: self-driving vehicles’ public trust problem

GSMA Mobile 360 – Africa: Rise of the Digital Citizen, Kigali 16 – 18 July 2019, in association with The European Sting

Is there a way out of the next financial crisis? Can more printed money or austerity save us all?

Do we really understand the value of independent journalism?

The EU bows to Turkey in view of the talks for a political settlement in Syria

Syria: Why did the US-Russia brokered ceasefire collapse? What does the duo care for?

Coronavirus in Brazil: mental health in tragedy

The technologies – and thoughtful collaborations – that can build resilience in the food system after COVID-19

Union of Equality: European Commission presents Strategy for the Rights of Persons with Disabilities 2021-2030

Politics is failing to protect the Amazon. It’s time for finance to step up instead

To save biodiversity, MEPs call for binding targets at global and EU level

Visa-free access to the EU for UK nationals and to the UK for EU nationals

Teenagers’ career expectations narrowing to limited range of jobs, OECD PISA report finds

The new era of Matriarchy?

EU solidarity in action: Commission proposes €86.7 million for the recent natural disasters in France and Greece

African cities will double in population by 2050. Here are 4 ways to make sure they thrive

How to stay in shape and step up support for refugees

Elections in Britain may reserve a surprise for May’s Tories

19th EU-China Summit: A historical advance in the Chino-European rapprochement

International community urged to deliver on promise for better future for Bosnia and Herzegovina

Grexit no longer a threat but how to manage a “tutti frutti” government if not with fear?

What is blockchain and what can it do?

The world needs a grand coalition to tackle climate change

More Stings?

Comments

  1. zweep13@planet.nl says:

    I think they want to kill all life, incuding mankind, ….very slowly ..; that’s my only conclusion. I dare them to eat this corn and to drink round-up polluted water, and then we speak again in about a few years ( if they will live at that time.)

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s