EU MPs veto move to let states curb GM imports

Brussels, Oct 13 (IANS) Environment Committee of the European Parliament on Tuesday vetoed a draft European Union law that would enable any member state to restrict the sale and use of EU-approved genetically modified organic food or feed on its territory.

The recommendation was approved with 47 votes to three, with five abstentions, Xinhua news agency reported.

The European Commission presented a proposal amending existing legislation as regards the possibility for member states to restrict or prohibit the use of genetically modified food and feed on their territory in April 2015.

European Parliament members are concerned the proposal might prove unworkable and lead to the re-introduction of border controls between countries supporting and opposing GM foods, said the EP press release.

“A clear majority in the committee does not want to jeopardise the internal market. For us, the existing legislation should remain in place, and member states should shoulder their responsibilities and take a decision together at the EU level, instead of introducing national bans,” said Environment Committee chair Giovanni La Via.

“The proposal conflicts with the principles of ‘better regulation’ and transparency which the new European Commission has taken on board. After we spent so many years getting rid of internal barriers, this proposal could fragment the internal market and lead to a return to border inspections, which we all worked hard to get rid of at the time,” he added.

For the next step, the recommendation would be put to a vote by the EP as a whole at the October 26 to 29 plenary session in Strasbourg.

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