The European Union has approved a law that will enable the bloc’s 28 member states to restrict the cultivation of genetically modified crops, even if the EU has declared them as safe. The law comes despite furious lobbying from multinationals.
Previously, countries that opposed the cultivation of crops approved by Brussels potentially faced legal challenges. Now, any country may unilaterally ban a particular genetically modified variety of seed – or even “groups of GMOs defined by crop or trait” – and additionally demand that their neighbors do not contaminate their fields.
The EU legislation will come into force in spring next year, pending a formal agreement from the individual states. Among the states likely to find use for the statute are France, Germany, Austria and Poland, which have consistently opposed gene-splicing technologies.