Europe risks being left behind in crop protection

EU farming groups, including the UK unions, have expressed deep concern about the effects of GM policies and regulations.

In an open letter to the European Commission they called for access to the best crops, including GM varieties, so that agriculture in Europe can be more sustainable and less reliant on imported products. Research and development in modern biotechnology for EU needs must be encouraged not driven away.

But the regulatory system has become an insurmountable hurdle for public and private sector development of GM crops, with no scientific justification. The letter calls for sound scientific evidence to be used for decision making, for decisions to be made in a timely manner and for rules to be adhered to by all member states.

As a major food and feed importer, Europe continues to raise global market prices. The letter states that the lack of options for GM technology available to farmers can equate to significant loss of income and a missed opportunity.

A broader, more holistic and longer term view of agricultural production of food, feed and biomass with adjustment to GMO policy and regulation is requested.

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