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EU May Allow Members Home Rule On GMO Foods 272

Posted by timothy
from the but-don't-cross-the-border dept.
think_nix (1467471) writes The EU Parliament is paving the way for EU Nation States to decide on banning or allowing GMO foods within their respective territories. An further article at Der Spiegel (German) (Google translation) quotes the German Health Minister's claim that if countries cannot specifically, scientifically argue for a ban, this would allow GMO companies to initiate legal actions against the banning ruling states. Furthermore it was noted, given EU Parliaments current stance on not reintroducing border and customs controls between member states, this will make checks and controls of GMO foods between member states even more difficult.
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EU May Allow Members Home Rule On GMO Foods

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  • by NicBenjamin (2124018) on Saturday June 14, 2014 @08:53PM (#47238611)

    So I should probably be banned from Slashdot.

    It assumed a lot of knowledge about how current EU GMO law works. I think that it was saying that currently the EU in Brussels approves GMOs in European agriculture, and then national governments can choose whether to let the crops into their countries. So the EU approved a strain of corn, and something else (it's mentioned in the article), and France/Germany/etc. have said those two crops aren't allowed within their borders. This just gets rid of the EU step. They'll be banned in Berlin and Paris, not Brussels.

    The article also mentions that the nations would need a reason to justify banning a GMO, but given that the MEPs quoted were mostly from countries that enthusiastically enforce the ban and nobody was going "hey, but your government will be forced to let GMOs in," I strongly suspect that the list of reasons a state can give for justifying a ban is really long.

  • by rmdingler (1955220) on Saturday June 14, 2014 @09:15PM (#47238669)

    So I should probably be banned from Slashdot.

    It's pot luck really... the probability is close to equal that you'll be modded informative for your blasphemy.

    It assumed a lot of knowledge about how current EU GMO law works. I think that it was saying that currently the EU in Brussels approves GMOs in European agriculture, and then national governments can choose whether to let the crops into their countries. So the EU approved a strain of corn, and something else (it's mentioned in the article), and France/Germany/etc. have said those two crops aren't allowed within their borders. This just gets rid of the EU step. They'll be banned in Berlin and Paris, not Brussels.

    I am as interested in eating healthy as the next bloke who cares about productive longevity, but corn is the most genetically modified crop in the history of the world...for a reason. It's caloric value per cultivated acre rivals that of the best of the grains. Without these super-grains, the human race has outstripped nature's ability to feed the 7 billion or so of us.

    The article also mentions that the nations would need a reason to justify banning a GMO, but given that the MEPs quoted were mostly from countries that enthusiastically enforce the ban and nobody was going "hey, but your government will be forced to let GMOs in," I strongly suspect that the list of reasons a state can give for justifying a ban is really long.

    The human race was eating GMO long before it wasn't cool. Wild grains were exploited and improved by the first hundred generations of hunter/gatherers before science knew what a genome was.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 14, 2014 @10:03PM (#47238789)

    First of all, don't act as if pesticides were never applied to crops prior to the invention of RR-tolerant GMOs.

    Second, Roundup is one of the least toxic commercial pesticides out there. It is actually less toxic than the alternatives, including those that are commonly used on "Organic" certified crops. For example, Organic-approved pesticide Rotenone is *quite* toxic as compared to Roundup.

    See here: http://www.wafriends.com/PesticideToxicityChartLargeFlyer.png [wafriends.com]

  • Roundup is expensive (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 14, 2014 @11:55PM (#47239063)

    Roundup is expensive. That is why you're not getting poisoned with it. It's also fairly low on the toxicity scale, but the matter of fact is that it's expensive, so farmers do their damndest to use as little of it as they can. This is why roundup-resistant beans are important; they can wick the beans, lose nothing to the soil or overspray, and kill everything else that's taller than the beans, which is to say, effectively competing with the beans. Without roundup resistant beans, they used a lot more roundup at a different part of the season to kill off everything, and then plant the beans. This is much, much better.

    Source: 840 acres in corn and beans

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