European Union adopts strict rules on GMO exports
The Greens/European Free Alliance have welcomed the compromise on transboundary movements of GMOs which was approved today by the European Parliament. The new legislation strictly regulates the export of genetically modified organisms to Non-Member-States. Today's vote underlines the European Union's committment to international environmental law and it emphasizes the need for binding international rules on the use of genetic engineering.
Speaking after the vote today, Jill Evans MEP (Plaid Cymru -The Party of Wales) Spokesperson for the Greens/EFA on the Commission's proposal said:
"Today's vote is important as the new Regulation will categorically ban any exports of GMOs intended for release into the environment if the country of import has not given its prior express written, consent. The compromise text accepted today by Parliament considerably broadens the scope of the Commission's original Proposal and substantially strengthens the obligations on Community exporters, clearly going beyond the requirements of the Biosafety Protocol. Today's decision therefore sends an important signal to Parties and Non-Parties of the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety, the first multilateral environmental treaty concluded in this millennium. Parliament's "Cartagena plus" vote underlines that the implementation of the Protocol's minimum obligations is not sufficient to ensure international biosafety.
Although not foreseen in the Protocol, the new Regulation makes it very clear that exporters also have to respect the laws of importing countries when it comes to exports of GM food and feed. This will help to prevent companies and governments from dumping GM food or seed aid on countries and people who don't want it. By requiring the Commission to give public access to export notifications the new Regulation will also faciliate the monitoring of GMO exports. The requirement on Member States to prevent unintentional transboundary movement of GMOs is another important element of the new Regulation - in fact, this element might require measures similar to those required to prevent the GM pollution of organic and conventional crops."