Changes in biotech regulations must not be an attempt to further delay the approvals process

10-Dec-2008 - Belgium

EU Environment Ministers concluded a 6 month long process designed to reinforce the ongoing work by the European food safety Authority (EFSA) on the environmental risk assessment guidelines for ag biotech cultivation. EuropaBio welcomes the Council’s support for ensuring that the EU biotech approval process works as designed and cautions against further delays to EU approvals for cultivation applications.

Commenting on the Council conclusions, Willy De Greef, Secretary General of EuropaBio stated, “EuropaBio welcomes Member State agreement that “it is necessary to look for improvement of the implementation of the existing legal framework in order to better meet the objectives of the EC legislation” and that any improvement of the implementation of the existing legislation would take “into consideration the necessity of continuing processing applications without undue delays and respecting the relevant EC international obligations”.

There has not been one new GM crop cleared for cultivation in the EU for ten long years. The current de facto moratorium on new approvals has to end so that EU farmers can choose the technology that works best for them.

“The EU has talked, created legislation, re-drafted legislation and delayed approvals on biotech for years. It is now the time for action and we anticipate implementation of existing legislation to allow for the approvals of biotech crops for cultivation without further and unnecessary delay,” concluded Willy De Greef.

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