GM maize ‘should be banned’ by EU states

By Linda Groves

- Last updated on GMT

Maize is the only crop approved for GM cultivation in the EU
Maize is the only crop approved for GM cultivation in the EU

Related tags Gm crops European union

Environmental group Friends of the Earth Europe has called on the UK government and those of all other EU Member States (MSs) to ban cultivation of all genetically modified (GM) maize.

This follows the European Council this week approving legislation that allows MSs to regulate their growth of GM crops. GM maize is the only GM crop category approved for EU cultivation.

This new law is a massive opportunity for national governments to shut the door on biotech crops in Europe​,” said Mute Schimpf, food campaigner at Friends of the Earth Europe.

More GM crop approvals

However, Professor Huw Jones, research team leader at Rothamsted Research’s Centre for Crop Genetic Improvement hopes the new law will lead to more GM crop approvals in the UK.

It’s a step in the right direction; it will free up the current blockages in the approvals process and hopefully pave the way for more GM food approvals in the UK​,” Jones said.

The Home Grown Cereals Authority, the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board’s strategy board for cereals and oilseeds, is due to publish this month a study it commissioned on the impact of adopting and not adopting such GM crops.


This will show the impact of potential adoption on the UK supply chain, accounting for relevant timescales such as the time between GM crops’ approval and their wider uptake.

The new legislation only allows MSs to decide on GM crops’ use after their approval by the European Food Safety Authority and the EU.

A MS can ban a GM crop if it believes it threatens the environment or public health or would entail socio-economic impacts, including high costs or the flouting of town and country planning or cultural traditions.

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