30.07.2005 |

Hungary: background on the GMO debate

While the Hungarian minister for economics is a frequent traveler to the US and sees great potential for biotech in his country the majority even in his own government seems to have different viewpoints.</p><p><a href="">The Budapest Sun: Science is split on GMOs</a>

19.07.2005 |

Spanish government issues co-existence decree

The Spanish government has proposed detailed rules for co-existence of GM and non-GM crops including minimum buffer zones of 50 m and authority for some additional regional measures. The decree also provides for a national survey and report the issue. It was strongly criticised by environment organisations, reports the US embassy, which obviously doesn't like these measures.</p><p><a href="">FAS: US embassy attache report</a></p><p><a href="">Government Press release and link to presentation (in Spanish)</a>

18.07.2005 |

EU-Commssion warns countries to adapt National GMO Laws

The European Commission warned three EU governments (France, Germany and Greece) to bring their national laws on genetically modified foods into line with EU law or face legal action at Europe's highest court.</p><p><a href=""> Environmental infringements: Commission takes legal action against Germany and Spain</a></p><p><a href=""> Greece: Commission takes action over breaches of environmental law</a></p><p><a href=""> France: Commission takes further action in ten environmental infringement cases</a>

11.07.2005 |

US intervenes on GM law in Cyprus

A plan by Cyprus to put genetically modified food on separate supermarket shelves angered the United States. Washington warned the move could harm bilateral ties. A vote on the bill has now been shelved until autumn.</p><p><a href="">Reuters AlertNet - US says Cyprus ties could suffer over GMO plan</a></p><p><a href="">Cyprus Mail: Greens' GM bill shelved until the Autumn</a>

06.07.2005 |

European Parliament looks for food safety experts

The European Parliaments committee on environment and consumer protection invites informal expression of interest in a "Panel of Food Safety Experts" to advise on issues such as Genetically Modified Organisms, BSE/TSE and control of other biological hazards, Food additives, flavourings and other food improvement agents, Foods for particular nutritional uses and nutrition. The Committee is not looking for expertise in narrow areas of specialisation, but for good communicators who can provide clear and concise briefings for EP Members on the implications of new EU policy proposals. Deadline: 15th July.</p><p><a href="">EP announcement on Food Safety experts</a>

01.07.2005 |

Lower Austria adopts "GMO precaution law"

The regional parliament of Lower Austria has adopted a stringent GMO protection law, which requires regional approval and full publicity of any GM planting in the region and allows for plant specific restrictions to be imposed by the regional authority. The law had been notified to the EU Commission and not contested formally and will now enter into force. The parliament also decided to join the network of GMO free regions in Europe.</p><p><a href="">Niederösterreichisches Gentechnikvorsorgegesetz (text of the law in German)</a>

30.06.2005 |

Vienna adopts GMO precaution law

The city and region of Vienna has adopted June 29th a regional law on GMO planting and co-existence, which prohibits any GM planting without expressed consent of the regional government and enables the government to establish stringent requirements for such an approval. Vienna also decided to join the network of GMO free regional governments in Europe.</p><p><a href=""></a>

29.06.2005 |

Croatia: New GMO law

The Croatian Government passed a new law on Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO) that replaced the previous provisions regarding biotechnology in the Law on Protection of Nature as a new separate piece of legislation. The Food Law remains as the main law for regulating biotech food and feed.</p><p><a href="">US GAIN report: New croatian GMO law</a>

27.06.2005 |

EU network of national authorities on co-existence established

At a EU Committee of the Regions hearing on GMOs and co-existence agricultural commissioner Marianne Fischer Boel announced a new network of EU member state authorities on co-existence. She also insisted that no general, yet maybe specific bans of GM growing were justified at regional level.Representatives of the Regional governments, the EU Parliament and Economic and Social Affairs Committee insisted on the protection of non-GM farming and production and the right of the regions to ban GMOs to this end. Proponents of GMO introduction from science, industry and the German state of Sachsen-Anhalt claimed that co-existence was feasible and called for laxer rules.</p><p><a href="">Committee of the Regions: Press Releases</a></p><p><a href="">Commission decision on co-existence network in the Official Journal (p 50)</a>

26.06.2005 |

EU ministers uphold national GMO bans against Commission with 2/3 majority

In a major blow to the European Commissions efforts to overcome the deadlock on GMO planting in Europe, the Council of EU environment ministers has rejected with qualified (2/3rd) majority a proposal to lift 8 national bans on previously EU approved GMOs. The ministers also rejected the approval of Monsanto's GM maize Mon863, but missed the qualified majority on this decision.</p><p><a href="">Reuters: EU ministers uphold sovereign right to ban GMOs</a></p><p><a href="">Reuters: Biotech crop policy in EU gets rethink after rebuff</a><p><a href="">Reuters: EU ministers rebuff plans to overturn GMO bans</a></p><p><a href="">Greenpeace: Commission defeated in string of GMO votes</a></p><p><a href="">Reuters: Chronology of EU moves on gene crops and foods</a></p><p><a href="">Friends of the Earth: EU ministers vote to keep GM foods ban</a></p><p><a href="">Reuters: EU's legal labyrinth of GMO legislation</a></p><p><a href="">Syngenta: Statement on EU Member States decision not to lift GM bans</a>