Εμφάνιση αναρτήσεων με ετικέτα genetically modified maize. Εμφάνιση όλων των αναρτήσεων
Εμφάνιση αναρτήσεων με ετικέτα genetically modified maize. Εμφάνιση όλων των αναρτήσεων

Τρίτη, Σεπτεμβρίου 02, 2014

GMO cultivation in the EU (Questions and answers)

The EU has one of the toughest genetically modified food regulations in the world and the cultivation of GM crops is only allowed following a thorough risk assessment. Yet, as member states are calling for more possibilities to restrict GMO cultivation on their territories, the European Commission has proposed some amendments to the current EU rules. The Parliament and the Council are currently looking at these proposals. Read on to learn more.

Is it allowed to grow genetically modified crops in the EU?


Yes, but only once they have been authorised at EU level, following a strict risk assessment carried out by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA). After authorisation, individual EU countries can only ban the GM product on their territory by using the so-called safeguard clause. They have to justify this decision, showing that the GMO may cause harm to people or the environment.

Are any GMOs already cultivated in the EU and did any member state ban it?

Currently, only one GM crop - insect-resistant maize MON 810 from Monsanto - is grown in the EU. However, some countries - Austria, Bulgaria, Greece, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Luxembourg and Poland - adopted safeguard clauses to prohibit its cultivation on their territories.

Why does the EU want to change the current system for authorising GM products?

Some member states asked for more freedom and flexibility to restrict or prohibit the cultivation of GMOs on their territory. In response, the Commission proposed amendments to the current rules and they are currently being discussed by the Parliament and the Council.

When will the new rules take effect?

In 2011 MEPs voted in favour of the proposals albeit with several amendments. The Council reached a political agreement on 12 June 2014, which will allow the Parliament and the Council to continue talks in order  to reach agreement on a common text. The proposal is foreseen for final adoption in 2015.
http://www.europarl.europa.eu/news/en/news-room/content/20140902STO57801/
2/9/14
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Παρασκευή, Φεβρουαρίου 14, 2014

ΥΠΕΞ: Δήλωση Εκπροσώπου ΥΠΕΞ σχετικά με την ελληνική θέση στο ζήτημα του γενετικά τροποποιημένου αραβόσιτου 1507

ΥΠΕΞ, Παρασκευή, 14 Φεβρουάριος 2014
Ο Εκπρόσωπος του Υπουργείου Εξωτερικών, Κωνσταντίνος Κούτρας, αναφερόμενος σε δημοσιεύματα και σχόλια σε ορισμένα ελληνικά ΜΜΕ, σχετικά με την ελληνική θέση στο ζήτημα του γενετικά τροποποιημένου αραβοσίτου 1507, έκανε σήμερα την ακόλουθη δήλωση:

«Με πρωτοβουλία του Αντιπροέδρου της Κυβέρνησης και Υπουργού Εξωτερικών, Ευάγγελου Βενιζέλου, εκ μέρους της Ελληνικής Προεδρίας, το ζήτημα της παροχής άδειας για την καλλιέργεια του μεταλλαγμένου αραβοσίτου 1507 εισήχθη προς συζήτηση στο Συμβούλιο της Ευρωπαϊκής Ένωσης και μάλιστα στη σύνθεση του Συμβουλίου Γενικών Υποθέσεων, για δύο κρίσιμους λόγους:
Πρώτον, για να αναδειχθεί η πολιτική σημασία του θέματος και δεύτερον, για να μην παρέλθει άπρακτη η προθεσμία εντός της οποίας θα μπορούσε να αντιταχθεί το Συμβούλιο στην πρωτοβουλία της Ευρ. Επιτροπής. Είναι γνωστό ότι, σύμφωνα με το Ευρωπαϊκό Δίκαιο, το Συμβούλιο μπορεί να αντιταχθεί με ειδική, δηλαδή αυξημένη, πλειοψηφία (κρατών μελών και ψήφων).

Η Ελληνική Προεδρία πρότεινε, επίσης, να διεξαχθεί δημόσια η σχετική συζήτηση και έτσι έγινε: η συζήτηση μεταδόθηκε τηλεοπτικά. Συνεπώς, ο καθένας μπορούσε να την παρακολουθήσει κι έτσι να δει αδιαμεσολάβητα τους χειρισμούς της Προεδρίας και τη σαφή εθνική ελληνική θέση, όχι μόνο κατά της έγκρισης, αλλά και υπέρ της ανάγκης η Επιτροπή να αποσύρει με δική της πρωτοβουλία την πρόταση, ανεξαρτήτως νομικών επιχειρημάτων.

Στο τέλος, μάλιστα, της συνεδρίασης, η Ελληνική Προεδρία, για να διευκολυνθεί η δυνατότητα η Επιτροπή να επανεκτιμήσει το θέμα συλλογικά στο Κολλέγιο των Επιτρόπων με στόχο την απόσυρση, κατέληξε στο συμπέρασμα ότι τα κράτη – μέλη διατύπωσαν πολιτική πρόθεση ψήφου (19 αντιτάχθηκαν στην έγκριση) και ότι επί του θέματος δεν διεξήχθη η ψηφοφορία.

Όλα τα ανωτέρω ειπώθηκαν στη συνέντευξη Τύπου που ακολούθησε, με τον κ. Βενιζέλο, τον Αντιπρόεδρο της Επιτροπής, Maroš Šefčovič και τον Επίτροπο, Tonio Borg, όπου ανακοινώθηκε, επιπλέον, ότι η Ελληνική Προεδρία θα θέσει το ζήτημα και στο Συμβούλιο Περιβάλλοντος.

Μετά απ’ όλα αυτά, η Ελλάδα, ως προεδρεύουσα χώρα, προφανώς δεν συνυπέγραψε το κείμενο ομάδας χωρών μελών που καλούν την Επιτροπή να αποσύρει την πρόταση της, για να διατηρήσει τη δυνατότητα των σχετικών μεσολαβητικών επαφών μεταξύ Συμβουλίου και Επιτροπής. Η θέση αυτή της Προεδρίας είναι σύμφωνη με την κοινοτική πρακτική και απολύτως κατανοητή και σεβαστή από τα κράτη μέλη που είχαν ίδια θέση με την Ελλάδα στη συνεδρίαση.

mfa.gr
14/2/14
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  • Foreign Ministry spokesperson’s statement regarding the Greek stance on the issue of genetically modified maize 1507

MFA, Friday, 14 February 2014
Foreign Ministry spokesperson Konstantinos Koutras made the following statement today regarding articles and comments in the Greek news media concerning the Greek stance on the issue of genetically modified maize 1507:

“On the initiative of Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Evangelos Venizelos, on behalf of the Hellenic Presidency, the matter of the granting of a permit for the cultivation of genetically modified maize 1507 was raised in the discussion at the Council of the European Union – in the General Affairs configuration – for two critical reasons: First, to point up the political importance of the issue, and, second, so that the Council might oppose the European Commission initiative within the deadline set. It is well known that, in accordance with European Law, the Council can block such an initiative through a supermajority (member states and votes).

The Hellenic Presidency also proposed that the relevant debate be carried out publicly, and that was the case: the debate was broadcast. Consequently, anyone could watch it and see for themselves how the Presidency handled it and what the clear Greek stance was, not just against approval, but in favor of the need for the Commission to withdraw the proposal on its own initiative, irrespective of legal arguments.

In fact, at the end of the meeting, the Hellenic Presidency – in order to facilitate the potential for the Commission to reassess the issue collectively at the College of Commissioners, with the aim of its being withdrawn – concluded that the member states had expressed a political intention as to their vote (19 opposed approval) and a vote was not carried out on the issue.

All of this was stated in the press conference that followed with Mr. Venizelos, Vice President of the Commission Maroš Šefčovič, and Commissioner Tonio Borg, where it was also announced that the Hellenic Presidency will also raise the issue at the Environment Council.

After all of this, Greece, as the presiding country, obviously did not cosign the text of the group of member states who are calling on the Commission to withdraw its proposal, so as to maintain the potential for the relevant mediating contacts between the Council and the Commission. This Presidency position is in accordance community practice and is fully understood and respected by the member states that took the same stance as Greece at the Council meeting.
 mfa.gr
14/2/14

Τετάρτη, Φεβρουαρίου 12, 2014

Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Venizelos’ statement following today’s EU General Affairs Council (Brussels, 11 February 2014). -Genetically modified organisms

MFA, Tuesday, 11 February 2014
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E. VENIZELOS: In the name of the Hellenic Presidency, I want to express warm thanks to Commissioner Sefcovic and all the member states who took the floor to welcome and support the Hellenic Presidency’s priorities. I also want to express thanks for the warm welcome of the practical results presented by the Hellenic Presidency after five weeks of exercising its duties.

I also want to thank the Council and the Commission for the solidarity they showed in the natural disaster that, unfortunately, is continuing to unfold with the ongoing earthquakes in Kefalonia. It is very important to the Hellenic Presidency, as well as to the Greek government, that the community mechanisms be mobilized – particularly the Solidarity Fund. And the same holds true, naturally, for the very serious natural disaster in Slovenia and on the border between Slovenia and Croatia.

Finally, allow me to clarify – speaking not as the Presidency of the Council, but as the Greek Foreign Minister – that on the issue of genetically modified organisms, and in this case, maize, the Greek position is absolutely opposed to granting permission and, even further, absolutely opposed to the potential for the cultivation of genetically modified organisms.

mfa.gr
12/2/14
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Τρίτη, Φεβρουαρίου 11, 2014

EU allows cultivation of new US genetically modified corn

BRUSSELS: EU ministers allowed the controversial cultivation of a new genetically modified crop, US firm Pioneer's TC1507 corn, after opponents failed on Tuesday to muster enough support against the move.
A meeting of European Affairs ministers could not establish a majority either way, Greek chairman Evangelos Venizelos said.
Accordingly, TC1507 was allowed through, after Venizelos asked for legal advice.
The rules require that "if the Council (of member states) does not take a decision, then the measure has to be adopted by the European Commission", a legal adviser said.

The Commission, the EU's executive arm, was on the spot after a European Court ruled late last year that the company's 2001 request for approval had to be dealt with without further delay.
Cultivation of Genetically Modified Organisms stokes widespread suspicion in the 28-nation EU on health and environmental grounds.
GM crops, however, have won repeated safety approvals and several ministers noted on Tuesday that they are imported into the EU in large amounts, and having been fed to animals, had by now entered the human food chain.
The General Affairs Council of ministers had to decide the issue on Tuesday under what is known as "qualified majority voting".
  • This complex system weighs member states according to their size to ensure that it is a majority of the EU's 500 million population which decides an issue, not the simple number of countries for or against.
  • In this instance, some 19 member states opposed, mustering 210 votes out of a required 260 to block the measure.
Britain, Finland, Estonia, Spain and Sweden were in favour but abstentions proved crucial.
  • Germany, the EU's most powerful and biggest country with 19 votes, changed its position to abstain from against, thereby taking itself out of the balance.
  • Also abstaining were Belgium, Portugal and the Czech Republic with 12 votes each.
France and Hungary led the opposition and the arguments, saying ministers would not be able to easily explain the outcome to the public.

Πέμπτη, Ιανουαρίου 16, 2014

Food safety: MEPs oppose authorising new genetically modified maize

The genetically modified maize “Pioneer 1507” should not be placed on the market for cultivation, because its insect-resistant pollen might harm non-target butterflies and moths, says the European Parliament in a resolution passed on Thursday. MEPs call on the EU Council of Ministers to reject its proposed authorisation, and urge the European Commission not to propose or renew authorisations of any GMO variety until risk assessment methods have been improved.


MEPs oppose the placing on the EU market of this genetically modified maize on the grounds that this would exceed the Commission’s implementing powers as laid down in EU rules on the deliberate release into the environment of GMOs. In particular, they note that the Commission proposal fails to specify any “conditions for protection of particular ecosystems/environments and/or geographical areas", as required by the legislation.

The resolution was passed by 385 votes to 201 with 30 abstentions.

Adverse effects

In its February 2012 opinion, European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) explicitly did not agree with the conclusion cited by Pioneer that there is negligible risk of maize line 1507 to non-target Lepidoptera in the EU, and pointed out that they may be at risk when exposed to its pollen.

Parliament also notes that maize 1507 is resistant to the herbicide glufosinate, and is marketed as such in the United States and Canada. However, the EU classifies glufosinate as toxic to reproduction and will not authorise its use after 2017, it points out.

Background

The last genetically modified crop to be authorised for cultivation in the EU was the Amflora potato, in 2010, but it was withdrawn from the EU market in December 2013, by order of the EU General Court (part of the Court of Justice). The only other GM crop authorised for cultivation in the EU is Monsanto’s MON 810 maize, but the renewal of its authorisation has been pending for years.

Procedure:  non-legislative resolution
europarl.europa.eu
16/1/14
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