EU farming groups, including the UK unions, have expressed deep concern about the effects of GM policies and regulations.
British farmers must be given the choice to use the best technologies available.
GM crops have been an established part of the global supply chain for food, feed and fibre for over 15 years, and have delivered clear benefits to farmers, environment, economy and wider society.
The overwhelming weight of scientific research shows that GM crops are as safe for human health and the environment as their conventional counterparts.
In an open letter to the European Commission they called for access to the best crops, including GM varieties, so that agriculture in Europe can be more sustainable and less reliant on imported products. Research and development in modern biotechnology for EU needs must be encouraged not driven away.
But the regulatory system has become an insurmountable hurdle for public and private sector development of GM crops, with no scientific justification. The letter calls for sound scientific evidence to be used for decision making, for decisions to be made in a timely manner and for rules to be adhered to by all member states.
As a major food and feed importer, Europe continues to raise global market prices. The letter states that the lack of options for GM technology available to farmers can equate to significant loss of income and a missed opportunity.
A broader, more holistic and longer term view of agricultural production of food, feed and biomass with adjustment to GMO policy and regulation is requested.
Dr Helen Ferrier, NFU chief science and regulatory affairs adviser “The heads of EU institutions have a great deal of power to sort out this mess and ensure the EU doesn’t become uncompetitive in both agricultural production and scientific research. This letter demonstrates the strength of feeling in the agriculture sector across Europe. Swift action must be taken.”
- Association Française des Biotechnologies Végétales (AFBV, France)
- AgroBiotechRom (Romania)
- Conservation Agriculture Association (APOSOLO, Portugal)
- Asociación Agraria Jóvenes Agricultores (ASAJA, Spain), ASOPROVAC (Spain)
- FuturAgra (Italy)
- InnoPlanta (Germany)
- Ligii Asociatiilor Producatorilor Agricoli din Romania (LAPAR, Romania)
- The UK Farming Unions NFU, UFU, NFUS and NFU Cymru