Het zogenoemde MON 810-mais is het enige genetisch gemanipuleerde gewas dat in de afgelopen tien jaar door Brussel werd goedgekeurd. Door die goedkeuring mochten boeren in Europa de maïssoort verbouwen. Hongarije, Oostenrijk, Frankrijk en Griekenland waren het daar niet mee eens en hebben een nationaal verbod ingesteld.
De Europese Commissie had aan de milieuministers voorgesteld om de maïs nu alsnog tegen hun wil in door de strot van de Oostenrijkers en Hongaren te duwen, maar dat voorstel werd dus met ruime meerderheid verworpen door de milieuministers. Dit is overigens in lijn met wat steeds uit opiniepeilingen blijkt: tussen de 62 % en 77 % (Eurobarometer, maart 2008) van de Europese burgers is erg bezorgd over de mogelijke gevolgen van genetisch gemanipuleerde landbouwgewassen.
FRACTIEBERICHT EUROPESE GROENEN
EU environment ministers today have overwhelmingly rejected a European Commission proposal to force Austria and Hungary to lift their bans on the cultivation of varieties of genetically modified (GM) maize. Twenty-two member states voted against the Commission proposal. Hungary can maintain its ban on Monsanto’s GM maize MON810, and Austria its bans on MON810 and Bayer's T25. Commenting on the decision, the Greens/EFA Co-presidents Monica Frassoni and Daniel Cohn-Bendit , said:
"The decision by the EU environment ministers is good news for the environment, farmers and consumers. It is also a shot in the arm for the many regions in the EU that want to become GM free.
"We applaud environment ministers for giving the thumbs down to this proposal from the Barroso Commission. This is the fourth time EU governments have rejected a Commission proposal to force member states to act against the will of their citizens and to allow the cultivation of GM crops. Between 62% and 77%of the population in the member states concerned oppose GM crops (1). It is deeply disturbing that the Commission continues to try and bulldoze through its pro-GM agenda in spite of public opposition.
"The overwhelming majority with which Council took the decision is a clear signal that a growing number of member states are losing confidence in the judgment of the European Commission on GMO issues. This is a slap in the face to Commission President Barroso, who has become a stooge of the agro-tech industry and overruled the position of EU environment commissioner Stavros Dimas.
"With more votes to come in Council - on the bans on GM crops in France and Greece - we hope EU environment minister will again step up to the plate. However, this also underlines the need to define a clear European policy on GMOs. This must start with an overhaul of the risk assessment procedure for GM crops, as requested unanimously by all 27 member states in December 2008.
1) According to Eurobarometer March 2008: Hungary 70% against GMOs, Austria 62%, France 70% and Greece 77%