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Towards new rules on GMO crops within the EU

Citizens recurrently turn to the European Parliament expressing their concerns about GMO crops.


Please have a look at our new EP answers on this topic, published on 12 February 2015:
New GMO legislation

Previous version (archived)

3 language versions available in pdf:
DE: Auf dem Weg zu neuen Vorschriften für GVO-Pflanzen innerhalb der EU
FR: Vers de nouvelles règles relatives à la culture d’OGM au sein de l’Union européenne
EN: Towards new rules on GMO crops within the EU
Towards new rules on GMO crops within the EU

© bildergala / Fotolia

The Environment Committee of the newly elected European Parliament backed a proposal on 11 November 2014 to introduce flexibility for EU countries to ban Genetically Modified Organism (GMO) crops. The approved text would entitle Member States to pass legally binding acts restricting or prohibiting the cultivation of GMO crops even if they have been authorised at EU level.

Currently, GMOs are authorised at EU level on a case-by-case basis following an application by a company. The authorisation process is carried out by the EU, and the resulting decision applies to all EU countries.

The Environment Committee also voted for the opening of negotiations with the Italian Presidency of the Council on this pending legislative file. The negotiators will have to find a compromise between Parliament’s position and Member States’ political agreement of 12 June 2014.

The European Parliament has published a Q&A on GMO cultivation in the EU. Furthermore, a European Commission webpage explains in detail the new EU approach on the authorisation of a GMO.

GM maize Pioneer 1507

The long-lasting and legally challenged authorisation process for the genetically modified maize Pioneer 1507 illustrated the short-comings of the current legislation, as described in a Commission’s press release and a Q&A of 6 November 2013.

While the Council was unable to reach a qualified majority neither for nor against the authorisation of the maize 1507, the European Parliament adopted a clear position against its authorising. Detailed information on this matter is contained in two European Parliament press releases accessible via this link and this link.

However, the European Parliament has only an advisory function as regards the granting of authorisation to grow GMOs. Since the Council has been unable to reach a qualified majority neither for nor against the proposal, it is up to the European Commission to authorise the maize 1507.

Any questions on this issue or another EP-related concern? Please use our web form. You write, we answer.

About Ask EP

The Citizens' Enquiries Unit provides information on the activities, powers and organisation of the European Parliament. You ask, we answer.



  1. Pingback: New GMO legislation | EuroReads - February 12, 2015

  2. Pingback: New GMO legislation | European Parliamentary Research Service - February 12, 2015

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