Don’t authorize GMOs: Letter to President of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker

Slow Food—together with Food&Water Europe, Friends of the Earth Europe, Greenpeace Europe, Safe Food Advocacy Europe and IFOAM EU—asks in an open letter to President of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, not to authorize the cultivation of GMOs, respecting the will of EU member states [1].

In the coming weeks, the European Commission will have to take a definitive position on the authorization and cultivation of three varieties of genetically-modified maize (Pioneer 1507, Syngenta Bt11 and Monsanto MON810) after neither a vote by the Standing Committee on January 27th nor by the Appeals Committee on March 27th achieved an absolute majority. What’s more, on October 6th 2016 the Members of the European Parliament asked, with a large majority, to refuse authorization for the 3 GM maize varieties. In the Appeals Committee vote in March of this year, 16 Member States voted against the authorization of Pioneer 1507 and Syngenta Bt11, and 14 Member States voted against the renewal of authorization for Monsanto MON810, which is currently the only GMO cultivated in Europe.

This is a test case for the Commission, which is called upon to express an opinion for the first time since the entry into force of the new directive as regards the possibility for the Member States to restrict or prohibit the cultivation of GMOs in their territory. A directive proposed by Juncker with the objective of making the authorization process as democratic as possible.

Slow Food, together with the four European associations, had already asked President Juncker in the past to maintain the commitments he had made and to guarantee a democratic decisional process on GMOs: in his political program, Juncker declared, “I would not want the Commission to be able to take a decision when a majority of Member States has not encouraged it to do so.

If the European Commission should authorize these three GMOs, it would be a choice that is not shared by the Member States, not only frustrating the efforts being made towards more democratic decision-making structures, but also demonstrating a general devaluation of those same democratic principles. The signatory organizations, with this letter, reaffirm that the European Commission cannot act without the consensus of the majority of Member States, and that the only plausible option is not to authorize the cultivation of the genetically-modified maize varieties under discussion today.


Read the Slow Food position paper on GMOs here.


[1] Click here to read the letter and annexed documents.


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