GMO news related to Belgium

03.10.2016 |

Commission to seek approval for three GM maizes: ENVI adopts 5 GMO objections

The European Commission and a handful of EU governments want

Europe to grow more genetically modified (GM) crops. In the coming months, they want to authorisethe cultivation of two GM maize varieties (DuPont Pioneer’s 1507 and Syngenta’s Bt11), and to renew the licence for another maize (Monsanto’s maize MON810), the only GM crop currently grown in the EU.

The proposed authorisations would only be valid in 9 out of 28 European Union (EU) countries, as well as in three regions (England in the UK, Flanders and the Brussels region in Belgium). The rest of EU countries and the remaining four regions in the UK and Belgium were excluded under the EU’s new opt-out mechanism. The Commission is hoping that EU governments will accept GM crops so long as they are not grown in their territories.

Franziska Achterberg, EU Food Policy Director for Greenpeace, said: “GM crops have no place in sustainable farming. Rightly, the majority of EU governments and parliamentarians have rejected them.

23.09.2016 |

Bratislava climber protest ends week of mobilisation against EU trade deals

Greenpeace warns trade ministers not to feed EU resentment with misguided decisions on trade

Press release - September 23, 2016

Bratislava/Brussels – A daring protest high above the Slovak capital on Friday morning concluded an intense week of mobilisation across Europe against EU trade deals with Canada (known as CETA) and the US (known as TTIP). Greenpeace called on EU trade ministers meeting in Bratislava today to oppose the deals and put the protection of people and planet ahead of trade.

Ten climbers from Austria, Slovakia and Croatia scaled the imposing UFO tower on the Bridge of the National Uprising over the Danube to display a 2.5 by 10-metre banner reading “NO TTIP”. The futuristic tower faces Bratislava castle and stands 85 metres above the old town, where the ministers are meeting.

Immediately before the tower protest, demonstrators representing a broad coalition of NGOs and trade unions marched in Bratislava to call on European governments to rethink the EU’s external trade agenda. Over the last week, hundreds of thousands of Europeans have demonstrated against CETA and TTIP from Berlin to Brussels, and Vienna to Stockholm.

06.06.2016 |

Toxic substances/Glyphosate: 3 strikes must mean Commission rules glyphosate approval out

A proposal for a temporary 'technical extension' of the EU approval of the herbicide glyphosate today failed to secure the support of a majority of EU governments (1). Commenting on the development,Green environment and food safety spokesperson Bart Staes stated:

"We applaud those EU governments who are sticking to their guns and are refusing to authorise this controversial toxic herbicide. There are clear concerns about the health risks with glyphosate, both as regards it being a carcinogen and an endocrine disruptor. Moreover, glyphosate's devastating impact on biodiversity should have already led to its ban. Thankfully, the significant public mobilisation and political opposition to reapproving glyphosate has been taken seriously by key EU governments, who have forced the EU Commission to back down.

"Three strikes must mean the approval of glyphosate is finally ruled out.

01.06.2016 |

Commission seeks glyphosate approval by another name

Press release - June 1, 2016

Brussels – The European Commission is seeking political backing to allow unrestricted use of controversial weedkiller glyphosate by labelling the decision as temporary, warned Greenpeace.

The Commission has scheduled a vote on an “extension” of the glyphosate licence for Monday 6 June. The Commission’s plan ignores scientific evidence that glyphosate is a probable cause of cancer and fails to limit human exposure to the herbicide, said Greenpeace.

In April, the European Parliament called for a ban on all private uses of glyphosate, as well as spraying around public parks and playgrounds. It also opposed glyphosate spraying just ahead of harvesting, and called for the immediate disclosure of all scientific evidence used by the European Food Safety Authority to back up its claim that glyphosate is unlikely to cause harm.

03.03.2016 |

EU prepares to brush aside glyphosate herbicide safety concerns

On 8 March, a meeting of EU government experts in Brussels is expected to support the European Commission’s proposal to grant a new 15-year lease to glyphosate, the world’s most used weedkiller, despite World Health Organisation (WHO) cancer warnings.

EU governments will only restrict its use in pesticide products that also contain a chemical called polyethoxylated (POE)-tallowamine. These products are already banned in Germany, one of Europe’s largest pesticides markets. European decision-makers are also expected to endorse the Commission’s request that Monsanto and other pesticide companies produce scientific evidence, by 1 August 2016, proving that glyphosate does not interfere with the human hormone system. However, the EU licence for glyphosate is expected to be renewed ahead of this deadline.

22.02.2016 |

Commission found guilty of 'maladministration' by the EU Ombudsman

DG SANTE ordered to prove in a future report they changed their practices.

The practice of EU Commission health service SANTE to approve pesticides while important safety data are missing, the so-called "confirmatory data procedure" (CDP), is a case of maladministration according to the EU Ombudsman in a decision published today (pnt 8 of the decision). Under the previous pesticide Directive (91/414) she considers use of these practices by DG SANTE as unlawful (pnt 27) and under the new Regulation (1107/2009) that allows use of CDP only in exceptional cases she concludes the use was not restricted as it should (pnt 11). Possible consequences for human health would be particularly worrying, writes the Ombudsman (pnt 27). Several other shortcomings in the pesticide decisions were observed by the Ombudsman such as a lack of requirements to protect the environment (pnt 44), a lack of systematic verification of protective measures (pnt 50) and even cases of approval when no safe use was demonstrated by Food Authority EFSA (pnt 28). The solution proposed by the Ombudsman includes a change of practices by DG SANTE; the Ombudsman orders SANTE to prove in a report, to be published in two years time, they have actually implemented the changes (pnt 71).

02.02.2016 |

Biotech lobby’s push for new GMOs to escape regulation

New Breeding Techniques the next step in corporate control over our food?

The biotech industry is staging an audacious bid to have a whole new generation of genetic engineering techniques excluded from European regulations. The pending decision of the European Commission on the regulation of these so-called 'new GMOs' represents a climax point in the ongoing below-the-radar attack by industry on GM laws.PDF version of this article Versión de este artículo en PDF (en castellano)

17.12.2015 |

Parliament rejects ‘unlawful’ proposal to import pesticide-resistant GM maize to the EU

Press release - December 16, 2015

Brussels - Today, the European Parliament dealt another blow to the Commission over GM crops, objecting to the import of Monsanto’s Roundup Ready™ Liberty Link™ GM maize into the EU. The Parliament said the decision to authorise the import of this GM crop was “not consistent with Union law” that aims at a high level of health and environmental protection.

The Commission authorised the GM maize earlier this month, without even waiting for the Parliament’s plenary to confirm its objection.

Greenpeace EU food policy director Franziska Achterberg said: “It is crucial that the Parliament challenges the Commission over its policy on genetically modified crops. Despite recurrent promises to change the rules and make the decision process for GM crops more democratic, the Commission has retained its disproportionate powers. It keeps using them extensively to push GM crops on the European market against widespread public opposition.”

07.07.2015 |

TTIP could open EU to 'new biotech' GMO seeds and foods

Coroprate Europe Observatory & Inf'OGM

7th July 2015

The EU Parliament is voting tomorrow on the controversial Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) being negotiated between the USA and the EU. But do MEPs realise that the agreement could force European markets open to 'new biotech' foods and crops using advanced GM technologies that do not meet current definitions of 'GMO' within the EU?


One of the most contentious issues is whether TTIP will weaken Europe's rules over genetically modified organisms (GMOs), a long-time target for US exporters who claim these rules hamper their profits.

Meanwhile, the biotech industry is pushing for the products of the 'next generation' biotech crops to escape the EU's legislation on GMOs and therefore to go unregulated. Is there a link between this new push, and TTIP? Emails obtained via a Freedom of Information request show this might indeed be the case.

Responding to public concerns, the European Commission has fervently denied any claims that EU food safety standards, or other standards for that matter, would be lowered as a result of TTIP.

29.12.2014 |

GMO potato protesters win lighter sentences on appeal


The Ghent court of appeal has heavily reduced the sentences of 11 protesters who were accused of causing criminal damage for their role in destroying a genetically modified potato crop in 2011

“Not hardened criminals”

A group of protesters who objected to a test project of genetically modified potatoes have had their sentences drastically reduced by the Ghent court of appeal, after the court threw out a conviction for criminal conspiracy.

The action by the so-called Field Liberation Movement took place in the East Flemish town of Wetteren in May 2011. The target: a field of test crops being grown as part of an experiment run by the University of Ghent, the Flemish Institute for Biotechnology and the Institute for Agricultural and Fisheries Research, both agencies of the Flemish government. The activists destroyed a third of the potato crop and clashed with police, who made 40 arrests.

In the initial trial, a group of 11 activists was convicted of criminal damage and conspiracy, and given suspended sentences of three to six months as well as fines of €550.

The appeal court has now reduced the sentences to one month suspended.