Ahead of the vote on genetically modified food and feed in the European Parliament this morning, GUE/NGL MEPs highlighted the democratic deficit in the field of GMOs and called on their colleagues to reject the proposal.
Lynn Boylan, GUE/NGL shadow on the issue, regretted that Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker's promise to tackle the democratic deficit in GMO authorisations in 2014 is now “well and truly fudged”.
“However, I welcome the Environment and Agriculture committees' vote to reject this half-baked proposal and I call on all MEPs to do the same. But I urge colleagues not to let the Commission off the hook on this issue. It must go back to the drawing board and come up with a proposal that is fit for purpose.”
MEP Boylan continued: “Citizens and environmental groups have genuine concerns regarding GM food, including their impact and their implications for food sovereignty and that is clearly reflected in the decision of 19 member states to opt out of GM cultivation.
“With this weak proposal, the Commission has also missed a good opportunity to address one of the weakest spots and that is on the authorisation procedure – EFSA's risk assessment which must be reformed and improved. This proposal has more legal loopholes than a string vest and I believe that the only people who are willing for this proposal to pass are the lawyers who will be cleaning up in the aftermath.”
For GUE/NGL MEP Luke 'Ming' Flanagan, people are concerned with getting “clean and green” food and feed. He said: “In Ireland if we don't live up to that image, if we are using GM feed to feed our cattle, then that's damaging.”
In response to a question by a British MEP as to whether we want to stop feeding this feed in Ireland, MEP Flanagan replied: “I would like to see this happen. Obviously it won't happen overnight, but we should set that goal and that target.”
He concluded: “We talk about democracy. Democracy is about listening to the people and the people of Europe have consistently expressed the opinion that they don't want GM foods. Don't tell me that GM companies want to feed the world. GM companies don't want to feed the world, they want to feed their pockets!”
GUE/NGL Press Contact:
Gay Kavanagh +32 473 84 23 20