Keith Taylor, Green MEP for the South East, is welcoming a vote by MEPs in the European Parliament's Environment Committee today (21 March) against the import of a range of genetically modified maize varieties for use in feed and food.
The majority of MEPs voted against proposals to authorise several genetically modified maize varieties from Syngenta .
Commenting after the vote, Mr Taylor, a member of the European Parliament's Environment Committee, said: "It's a great Green success that the majority of MEPs have voted against the import and use of untested GM maize in the European Union. It is the sixth time in just over a year that the European Parliament has signalled it's opposition to the approval of new GM foods. The proposal voted down today would have approved 20 different varieties of GM maize of which only a handful have even been tested by the European Food Authority (EFSA) and most have not yet been produced. To give them the green light would have been completely irresponsible."
"MEPs have sent a strong signal that as long as complete and up-to-date scientific data is not available, permission must not be granted. I am urging the governments of the EU to take this message from the Environment Committee seriously and vote against importing genetically modified maize into the European Union next week."
"Worryingly, UK Ministers have suggested Brexit could be 'an opportunity' to water down GM crop regulations in Britain . As Greens, we will be fighting to make sure this doesn't happen; it is vital we maintain and strengthen EU GM safeguards post-Brexit. For the health of British people, the environment and farmers, the UK must not be flooded with untested genetically modified crops."
The Commission has submitted a proposal to authorise genetically modified maize varieties from Syngenta. This would allow the use of five different characteristics (Bt11 × 59122 × MIR604 × 1507 × GA21) and their combinations. This could bring more than 20 different genetically modified maize varieties to the European market. The Standing Committee of EU Member States "Plants, Animals, Food and Feed" was unable to reach an opinion on the Commission proposal on 27 January. The text will now be presented to an appeal committee on 27 March. If there is still no decision, it will be returned to the Commission.
Note: Keith is the Green MEP for the South East of England and is one of 50Greens/EFA MEPs in the European Parliament. He sits on the Committee on Transport and Tourism, and the Committee on Environment, Public Healthand Food Safety. He isa member of the European Parliament’s delegation to the Palestinian Legislative Council which works to forge greater links between MEPs and parliamentarians in Palestine. Keith is also Vice Chair of the parliament’s Intergroup on animal welfare and a member of the parliament’s Intergroup on LGBTI Rights.
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