European Commission gives GM guidelines

New guidelines for coexistence of GM and non-GM crops put onus back on member states

Andrew Scott(andrewscotteurope@yahoo.co.uk)
Jul 23, 2003

The European Commission (EC) has released its guidelines for ensuring that genetically modified (GM) crops can be grown in coexistence with conventional and organic farming. The guidelines, published July 23, are intended "to help member states to develop workable measures for co-existence in conformity with EU legislation."

In a significant move, the EC emphasized that legislating in this specific area should be a matter for individual member states. In a statement, Franz Fischler, commissioner for Agriculture, Rural Development and Fisheries said, "What is an efficient and cost-effective best practice is specific to national and regional or local conditions. This makes an EU-wide 'one-size-fits-all' approach unworkable."

Simon Barber, director of the Plant Biotechnology Unit at EuropaBio, the European Association for Bioindustries, agrees with this decision. He told The Scientist, "There are good scientific reasons for giving this responsibility to the member states, given their different agro-environments."

Some anti-GM...

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