Ministers support Hungarian GM ban

20-02-2007 | |

EU environment ministers have rejected a European Commission proposal to force Hungary to end the national ban on the marketing of a genetically modified maize made by US biotech giant Monsanto.

Votes in June 2005 and September 2006 also showed a
qualified majority of member states in favour of allowing Hungary to keep its
ban on the maize variety ‘MON810’. Only the Netherlands, Finland, Sweden and the
UK voted to lift the ban on Tuesday.

In line with European

“EU environment ministers took a bold decision today in
defence of the environment and in line with European public opinion,” said Marco
Contiero, policy adviser on GMOs at Greenpeace’s European Unit. “We look forward
to the day when the European Commission also puts defence of the public interest
before the interests of US agribusiness and its lobbyists in Brussels and at the
WTO,” added Contiero.

Scientific evidence
The environmental
lobby group claims that scientific evidence published by the Austrian and
Hungarian authorities shows that MON810 maize may have harmful effects on plants
and animals.
But the Commission, backed by a European Food Standards
Authority (EFSA) decision, believes that there is no scientific justification
for these bans on either health or environmental grounds.

Hungary was the first country in Eastern Europe to ban GMO
crops when it outlawed the sowing of MON 810 maize seeds in January 2005.

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