The battle against genetically-modified organisms (GMOs) continues on, with a growing number of countries saying goodbye to these crops for good. There are many countries who are making moves to rid their markets of GM crops. As of this week, these countries have initiated moves to ban GMO crop cultivation: Austria, Croatia, Scotland, Slovenia, Italy, Germany, France, Greece, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Bulgaria, Russia, Denmark, Wales, and Poland. Many of these governments are choosing an “opt-out” clause of a European Commission rule that was passed in March, and it would allow for these countries to abstain from growing GMO crops.
Regardless if these GMO crops are already authorized to be grown within the EU, this clause will allow these nations to refuse if they wish to. Although, it's unclear how new trade deals like the TPP would put their refusal option at risk. Currently, the only GM crop that is allowed to be grown in Europe is Monsanto's MON810 maize.
Overall, roughly 65 percent of the EU's population is saying that they want to ban the cultivation of GMO crops. Clearly, a growing number of people are wanting to opt-out of being a part of the experiment, and when given the opportunity to choose; many will prefer to eat food that isn't genetically-modified. “At least half of the EU’s governments are rejecting the commission’s drive for GMO crop approvals. They don’t trust EU safety assessments and are rightly taking action to protect their agriculture and food,” says Greenpeace EU food policy director Franziska Achterberg.
Many of these countries already have anti-GMO legislation established, but more are joining the cause and they are increasing the strict regulation and bans against these crops. All 28 nations currently within the EU require GMO labeling, unlike the U.S. which is still battling over whether companies should be forced to label GMOs. But companies don't need to be forced to label GMOs in order for people to be able to find out what is and isn't genetically-modified, the voluntary non-gmo label verification project is evident to the success of alternative, voluntary methods.
Monsanto and other bio-tech corporations continue to face pressure from the public, over concerns for potential risks that GM crops might pose to health or the environment. From lawsuits to large-scale, world-wide public demonstrations against GM crops, and more, it's clear that people aren't going to let their concerns for these crops subside anytime soon.
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