EU commissioner calls for action over GM rules

European Union (EU) food commissioner Mariann Fischer Boel has warned the European Union’s (EU) meat industry is threatened with “disaster” by the EU foot-dragging over approving genetically modified (GM) foodstuffs.


Speaking last week (Oct 15) at the European Policy Centre in Brussels, the commissioner warned blocking American soy imports this summer over contamination with GM materials as yet unauthorised in Europe meant traders were ”talking of halting imports from the US altogether”.

Fischer Boel warned: “If this happens, in the current market conditions, our livestock sector faces disaster. Even if we can get the soya from elsewhere…our livestock sector would have to pay higher prices.”

She accused EU ministers of flouting science, by ignoring European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) advice that a range of GM products are safe, and refusing to take decisions – leaving the Commission to use time-consuming reserve powers to authorise GM products. Meanwhile, if traces of such unauthorised products appear in import cargoes, they are blocked.