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Case-by-case ban on GMO crops allowed but buffer zones rejected

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EU governments will be able to restrict or ban GMO crops on a case-by-case basis under measures approved by the European Parliament’s all-party environment committee today.  But the Euro MPs rejected proposals by the main progressive group to set up EU-wide minimum buffer zones around plots in which GMO farming is permitted.

In a vote on GMO agriculture, the Socialists and Democrats group defended the need to preserve biodiversity and respect different types of farming.

S&D spokesperson on environment and health issues Linda McAvan said: “The existing law does not deal with the issue adequately. There is a legal vacuum.

“Under the terms of this vote, member states will be obliged to prevent contamination of GMO-free crops and other products on their territory and in the border areas of neighbouring member states.”

Justas Paleckis, S&D author of a parliamentary report on the issue, said:  “Our main concern is safety and transparency. Appropriate labelling will allow citizens to choose if they want to buy GMOs or traditional agricultural products.

“The vote gives EU farmers and consumers greater certainty and a stronger legal framework.

“The environment committee stressed the need for more scientific studies on the long-term health and environment effects of GMOs.”

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