1.EU GMO campaign success! - GP
2.Changes in biotech regulations must not be an attempt to further delay the approvals process - EUROPABIO

NOTE: The details of the new comprehensive legal framework for the authorisation of GMOs can be found in this EU document: envir/104510.pdf
1.EU GMO campaign success!
Greenpeace International, 5 December 2008

Thanks to your amazing support, we managed to prevent pro-GMO countries from wrecking yesterday's important EU environment ministers' meeting on Genetically Modified Organisms and food safety.

Over 70,000 messages were sent to EU politicians, including over 3,000 sent directly in the last 48 hours to the UK and German ministers!

Yesterday, EU member states sent a clear signal to the European Commission that we need to improve the way risks from GM crops are assessed -- risks to the environment, to our health and to the lives of millions of farmers.

In a nutshell, EU environment ministers have agreed:

*The long-term effects of GMOs on the environment, living organisms and health need to be assessed.

*There should be independent scientific research on GMOs, and access to information that is currently kept secret by agro-biotech companies.

The European Food Safety Authority should consider the environmental impact of herbicides spread over GM crops.

They also said that pesticide-producing GM crops should be treated in the same way as chemical pesticides.

Regions and local communities have a right to establish GM-free zones.

Unfortunately though, we didn't get everything we wanted from this meeting. The text is generally good, but we need to continue campaigning for it to be implemented and the wrong bits made right.

For now, please show some solidarity for the campaign in Australia to introduce labelling and testing laws there for GM food. ight-to-know-gm-food-lab

Thank you for your support!

Eat well this holiday season, and stay tuned for more GE campaign opportunities in 2009.
2.Changes in biotech regulations must not be an attempt to further delay the approvals process
EuropaBio, 5 December 2008

Yesterday, EU Environment Ministers concluded a 6 month long process designed to reinforce the ongoing work by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) on the environmental risk assessment guidelines for ag biotech cultivation. EuropaBio welcomes the Council's support for ensuring that the EU biotech approval process works as designed and cautions against further delays to EU approvals for cultivation applications.

Commenting on the Council conclusions, Willy De Greef, Secretary General of EuropaBio stated, "EuropaBio welcomes Member State agreement that 'it is necessary to look for improvement of the implementation of the existing legal framework in order to better meet the objectives of the EC legislation' and that any improvement of the implementation of the existing legislation would take 'into consideration the necessity of continuing processing applications without undue delays and respecting the relevant EC international obligations' (1).

There has not been one new GM crop cleared for cultivation in the EU for ten long years. The current de facto moratorium on new approvals has to end so that EU farmers can choose the technology that works best for them.

“The EU has talked, created legislation, re-drafted legislation and delayed approvals on biotech for years. It is now the time for action and we anticipate implementation of existing legislation to allow for the approvals of biotech crops for cultivation without further and unnecessary delay,” concluded Willy De Greef.

For further information about EuropaBio please contact:
Nathalie Moll
Tel: +32 2 739 1185
Mobile: +32 473 88 4578
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Rebecca Weaver
Tel: +32 2 735 0313
Direct: +32 2 739 1184
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Notes to Editors: