Possibility for the Member States to restrict or prohibit the cultivation of GMOs, Explanation of Votes, Strasbourg

Los Angeles

The aim of these negotiations has been to unblock the Union process granting authorisation to GMOs for cultivation and import.

Whilst I welcome the efforts that have been undertaken to achieve this goal, I believe that the overall agreement we have arrived at contains a number of unsatisfactory elements, which left me unable to support it at today’s vote.

This final agreement is unsatisfactory in that it allows Member States to proceed directly to national bans, rather than first seeking a more legally sound "opt-out". In addition, it allows national bans to apply to "groups of GMOs" - rather than on a case-by-case basis - and fails to completely rule out the possibility of Member States citing environmental and public health grounds for national bans. Both of these elements conflict with the EFSA risk assessment process whereby environmental and public health risks of GMOs are examined on a case-by-case basis prior to authorisation being granted.

It is my strongly held belief that a science-based approach to the regulation of GMOs must be maintained and it was on this basis that I took the decision to abstain during the vote on the Trilogue agreement.