* Plans to let EU states decide on GM crops in limbo
* Opposition from France, Germany, Britain blocking talks
* EU exec denies freeze on GM crop cultivation decisions
BRUSSELS, Jan 22 The European Union's health
chief hopes to revive talks on draft legislation that would
allow member governments to decide individually whether to grow
or ban GM plants.
The draft rules proposed by the European Commission in 2010
were meant to unblock EU decision-making on genetically modified
crops, by allowing some countries to use the technology while
letting others impose cultivation bans.
But opposition from France, Germany and Britain has
prevented agreement on the proposals, which must be approved by
a majority of governments and the European Parliament before
"We are going to discuss the issue with the three
governments to see if we can reopen negotiations on the
proposals," said Frederic Vincent, spokesman for EU health
commissioner Tonio Borg.
Currently, EU rules state that any GM crop approved for
cultivation can be grown anywhere inside the bloc, unless
countries have specific scientific reasons for banning their
Only two GM crops are currently approved for cultivation in
Europe, where opposition from sceptical consumers and
environmental groups remains strong.
That compares to more than 90 GM varieties approved for
cultivation in the United States and about 30 in Brazil.
Seven GM crops - six maize varieties and one soybean - are
currently awaiting cultivation approval from the Commission,
having received a positive risk evaluation from the EU's food
The crops concerned were developed by agri-business
multinationals including Monsanto, Dow AgroSciences
, and Syngenta.
Vincent said the Commission was unlikely to propose
approving the seven varieties for cultivation in the coming
weeks, but dismissed any suggestion of a freeze on EU
cultivation decisions for GM crops.