By Eve Mitchell
Now that EU Member States can ban genetically modified (GM) crops (and they should) we’re digging in to get the next big change we need – democratic control over GM authorisations.
You may remember that the last GM crop to seek a place in European fields, DuPont’s 1507 maize, is still stuck in the mud, unauthorised and unplanted in legal limbo. The file is with the Commission now, and the current rules say the Commission could authorise the crop at any time, but the fact that a majority of EU countries and a majority of the European Parliament don’t want it is causing a ruckus that just won’t die down.
So we’re now promised that a review and revision of the authorisation process will introduce more democracy to quell the storm and, it is hoped, restore a bit of faith in the institutions approving our food and crops. Good. Food & Water Europe joins the international call to ensure that any changes are meaningful (pdf).
We’re not daft, though. We know all too well that the last seemingly straight-forward alteration to the GM approval system, the one that resulted in the new ability to ban GM crops, took over five years to secure. So we may not see this new democracy soon, but it needs to happen, and we’ll be here to make sure it does.