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.
















Featured Stings

The EU Commission predicts a decimated growth in the next years

How painful is the Greek tragedy for the Germans?

‘Habitual residence’ rules deprive EU workers from social benefits

Brexit: The Conservative Party drives the UK and Europe to a perilous road

The Commission tells Berlin it is legally obliged to help Eurozone out of stagnation

At the edge of humanity: refugee healthcare in Greece and the EU

Is Europe misjudging its abilities to endure more austerity and unemployment?

French Prime Minister passes Stability Program and takes his ‘café’ in Brussels this June

Banks, insurance giants are free again to abuse the real economy

The cuts on 2014 Budget will divide deeply the EU

To Bing or Not to Bing? That is the question

Who is responsible for public health? The tendencies and its benefits –or not– on Health Education around the world

What our leaders hide from us

Time to be welcome: Youth work and integration of young refugees

No tears for Cyprus in Brussels and Moscow

Brussels to point the finger to Washington for lack of commitment over TTIP

What does Tsipras have to offer to the rest of Europe? Is it worth an early advance of €10 billion? Berlin sturdily denies it

“The Sea is vast as it admits all rivers”, Ambassador Yang Yanyi of the Chinese Mission to EU gives her farewell address in Brussels

The EU has to prove it can remain one piece

Minority governments ‘à la mode’ in Europe but can they last long?

EU migrant crisis: Germany, France and UK to show the way. Will the rest of the EU follow?

Modern humanitarian aid at times of global crises

EU Commission: Germany can make Eurozone grow again just by helping itself

EU Council approves visa-free travel for Ukraine and cement ties with Kiev

Merkel, Mercedes and Volkswagen to abolish European democracy

Immigration crisis at its very worst: EU to outsource rescue business to North Africa?

Tsipras bewildered with Berlin’s humiliating demands; ECB expects political sign to refinance the Greek banks

What the future holds for the EU – China relations?

At last a good price for the Greek debt!

Telecommunications and Internet: A Jungle with no principles?

Does EURES really exist?

Erdogan’s Turkey in dire straits for flip flop policies in the Middle East

How bad could British healthcare get for its citizens abroad post-Brexit?

The Sichuan Province of China presents its cultural treasure to the EU

A Sting Exclusive: “Paris and beyond: EU action and what COP21 should deliver”, Green MEP Keith Taylor discusses from Brussels 

Youth unemployment: No light at the end of the tunnel

Counting unemployment in the EU: The real rate comes to anything between 16.1% and 20.6%

The European Commission to stop Buffering

The EU Parliament endorses tax on financial transactions

Draghi tells the EU Parliament his relaxed policies are here to stay

Making money from meeting the SDGs? An overarching approach to sustainable development.

GradList Launched At TheNextWeb 2014

Young people meet in Malta to shape the future of Europe

Athens searches frantically for a new compromise between politics and economic reality

Eurozone: Avoiding a new Greek accident

European Globalisation Adjustment Fund, who gets it and who pays the bill?

Creating shared value: an opportunity and challenge for entrepreneurship

David Cameron’s formal letter/threat that officially opens pandora’s box for the UK

Eurozone recession subsides

Parliament to ask for the suspension of EU-US deal on bank data

Greece did it again

Lithuania vs Parliament over 2014 EU budget

It’s Time to Disrupt Europe, Digital First

“Access denied”: the Greek health system under pressure

Connectivity and collaboration in the ICT industry: the key to socio-economic development

China, forever new adventures

Europe eyes to replace US as China’s prime foreign partner

A European young student shares his thoughts on Quality Education

Eurozone: GDP development heads to naught; the expensive euro serves only Germany

Real EU unemployment rate at 10.2%+4.1%+4.7%: Eurostat Update

More Stings?


  1. 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: Logo

You are commenting using your 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 )

Google+ photo

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

Connecting to %s