Greek presidency on nationalisation of GMO approval: flexibility, involvement of industry & in accordance with EFSA assessments?

With the opportunity of the Environment Council on 3 March 2014, Greek minister of environment mr. Maniatis, puts again on table the issue of giving the possibility to the Member States to nationalise restrict or prohibit the cultivation of GMOs in their territory, by asking for flexibility ahead of debate on GMOs (1).

However, according to Greenpeace Greece, which has just delivered a press release (2), in the proposal circulated of Greek Presidency on 17 February on the issue (3), there are points which could be interpreted as of allowing to gm industry interfering on the procedure (4), as well as requesting that any decision should be in accordance with the risk assessments of EFSA (5), already in favor of gmo approval. Questionmarks raises as well the fact that the Greek minister called Greek environmental NGOs to deliver an opinion on the issue on 19 February, only after the proposal of the Greek chair had circulated the proposal.

The European Commission, together with Council and Parliament, are urged to reach an agreement on GMO cultivation as soon as possible. Greek government currently holds the presidency of the Council of Europe during the whole first semester of 2014, given the opportunity to express the will of the majority of European citizens requesting the complete ban of GMOs on farm and table. But, will it do so? 

The text in Greek here


(1) "Greece asks for flexibility ahead of debate on GMO"
(2) In Greek: "pro-GM minister under Greek EU presidency"
(4) Point (8) of the Proposal's text: “it should therefore be provided the possibility for a Member State to request the applicant to adjust the geographical scope of its notification/application submitted”
(5)Part on Article 26b Cultivation, point 3: "in conformity with EU law, reasoned, proportional and non-discriminatory” and “do not conflict with the environmental risk assessment” (carried out by EFSA)