In March the European Commission gave the go ahead to the first genetically modified crop to be grown in Europe since 1998. This decision has been condemned by Friends of the Earth Europe.
The genetically modified ‘Amflora’ potato, was designed to produce starch for industrial purposes by Germany´s chemical giant BASF. There is a risk that the controversial antibiotic resistant gene contained in the potato may now enter the food chain.
The European Commission President, Jose Manuel Barroso, and the new European Health Commissioner in charge of genetically modified crops (GMOs), John Dalli, have given a clear pro-GM signal by approving this GM potato. They have allowed the release of a GMO into the environment against peoples wishes, against the wishes of the majority of European governments, and despite serious reservations from scientists.
This GMO could increase bacteria's resistance to life saving medicines. The Commission approved the crop, even though there are conventional alternatives on the market. This GM potato is neither intended nor approved for human consumption. Because contamination of the food chain may be unavoidable, they also allowed for other types of human food to contain up to 0,9 percent of this GMO. Mr. Dalli also announced that further GMO approvals would follow soon.
In 2008 representatives of the 27 European Union member states unanimously criticized the current European Union GMO approval system. They called upon the Commission to ensure a more rigorous and impartial risk assessment and to take into account the social and economic impacts of GMO cultivation in Europe.
No GMO should be authorised in Europe until there has been a thorough reform of the GMO authorisation system.
It is now up to individual countries in Europe to hold the new Commission accountable and to demand a stop to GMOs entering our environment and food chain.
Please e-mail Caroline Spelman MP the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. Ask her to take action to stop GMO contamination of our food.
Please also sign a European Petition to the EU Commission asking for a GMO moratorium.