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Parliament votes to give European countries legally solid right to ban GM cultivation

Press release - November 11, 2014
Brussels - The European Parliament voted today on a new law on national bans of genetically modified (GM) crops. The Parliament’s environment committee voted to amend the position agreed last June by ministers [1], which, according to Greenpeace, was riddled with legal holes and went against the Parliament’s earlier vote [2].

Commenting on the outcome of the vote, Marco Contiero, Greenpeace EU agriculture policy director said: “Thumbs up to the new Parliament for wanting to secure a GM-free agriculture and environment for Europeans. Parliamentarians have radically improved the text adopted by the Council, which was heavily influenced by the UK government pro-GM stance. Today’s vote would give European countries a legally solid right to ban GM cultivation in their territory, making it difficult for the biotech industry to challenge such bans in court.”

In its position, the Parliament reinstated countries’ right to ban GM crop cultivation because of environmental concerns, and limited the central role that the EU ministers wanted to offer to biotech companies in the banning process. The Parliament, Commission and governments will now start negotiations, aiming to finalise this new law in the coming weeks.


[1] Greenpeace comment on Environment Ministers’ agreed position, 12 June 2014.

[2] European Parliament legislative resolution of 5 July 2011 on the proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council amending Directive 2001/18/EC as regards the possibility for the Member States to restrict or prohibit the cultivation of GMs in their territory (COM(2010)0375 – C7-0178/2010 – 2010/0208(COD)).



Marco Contiero, Greenpeace EU agriculture policy director:  +32 (0)477 77 70 34 (mobile),

Luisa Colasimone, Greenpeace EU communication manager: +32 (0)476 98 85 84 (mobile),