Parliament said decision to authorise import of this GM crop was “not consistent with Union law” that aims at a high level of health and environmental protection

Today the European Parliament dealt another blow to the Commission over GM crops, objecting to the import of Monsanto’s Roundup Ready™ Liberty Link™ GM maize into the EU.[1] The Parliament said the decision to authorise the import of this GM crop was “not consistent with Union law” that aims at a high level of health and environmental protection.[2]

The Commission authorised the GM maize earlier this month[3], without even waiting for the Parliament’s plenary to confirm its objection. [4]

Greenpeace EU food policy director Franziska Achterberg said, “It is crucial that the Parliament challenges the Commission over its policy on genetically modified crops. Despite recurrent promises to change the rules and make the decision process for GM crops more democratic, the Commission has retained its disproportionate powers. It keeps using them extensively to push GM crops on the European market against widespread public opposition.”

Monsanto’s GM maize is engineered to tolerate spraying with two herbicides. This includes glufosinate, which has been classified in the EU as toxic for reproduction, as well as glyphosate, which has been classified by the World Health Organisation (WHO), but not the EU, as probably carcinogenic.

Since November 2014, the Juncker Commission has authorised and renewed the authorisations for import of around 20 GM crops. The US are putting pressure on the Commission as part of the negotiations on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) to speed up GM crop approvals. Whether or not Europe imports GM crops is an important factor in farmers’ decisions to grow them.

The Parliament’s objection is not binding for the Commission.


[1] The Parliament earlier rejected a Commission’s proposal that would give national governments a theoretical right to ban GM crops approved for import. It called on the Commission to present a new proposal instead.

[2] Motion for a Resolution pursuant to Rule 106(2) and (3) of the Rules of Procedure on Commission Implementing Decision (EU) 2015/2279 of 4 December 2015 authorising the placing on the market of products containing, consisting of, or produced from genetically modified maize NK603 × T25:

[3] Commission’s decision to authorise (4 December 2015):

[4] ENVI Committee press release (1 December 2015):

Source: Greenpeace