Daniel Cohn-Bendit

GM maize authorisation - Commission insistence must be met with censure

Press release - Brussels - Feb. 12, 2014 

The Greens/EFA group in the European Parliament has threatened the European Commission with censure if it pushes ahead with the authorisation of a new GM crop variety for cultivation. Following yesterday's decision in the EU General Affairs Council, in which a record number of EU member states opposed the proposed authorisation of a new GM crop variety (GM maize 1507), EU health and consumer policy commissioner Tonio Borg indicated the Commission would nonetheless proceed with the authorisation. The Greens believe the European Parliament should censure the Commission if this occurs. Commenting on the situation, Greens/EFA co-president Dany Cohn-Bendit stated:

"Pushing ahead with the authorisation of this GM maize variety, against the background of clear opposition in the Council and the European Parliament, would demonstrate a disdain for the democratic process by the European Commission. This is not to mention the consistent and determined public opposition to GMOs in Europe. This issue is a test of European democracy and, if the Commission doggedly pursues the authorisation of GM maize 1507 in spite of this democratic opposition, we will launch a motion of censure in the European Parliament (1)."

Greens/EFA co-president Rebecca Harms continued:

"There is unprecedented democratic and public opposition to the authorisation of this GM variety. The clear opposition in Council, with a record 19 governments of member states representing a majority of the EU population opposed and 4 abstaining, comes just weeks after the European Parliament adopted a resolution with a two-thirds majority against the authorisation. Against this background, it would be cynical of the Commission to proceed and authorise GM maize 1507. We are calling on the Commission to recognise this and withdraw its proposal or else face a motion of censure. The EU's GMO authorisation process is clearly not fit for the task and there should be no further proposed authorisations until the process is finally overhauled to take account of the consistent and legitimate opposition to this controversial technology."

(1) A motion of censure can be launched by one tenth of the component members of the European Parliament (77 MEPs.)

See the Green press release on yesterday's decision: http://www.greens-efa.eu/gm-maize-authorisation-11675.html