GMO news related to Belgium

23.02.2017 |

Four months to #StopGlyphosate

Earlier this month, Corporate Europe Observatory joined a broad pan-European coalition in launching a European Citizens Initiative (ECI) to ban glyphosate and improve the weak EU pesticides approval procedure. We hope this builds enough public pressure on the European Commission and national governments, including the UK government, that they take into account our concerns when they decide whether or not to relicence glyphosate in June (and under what conditions).

The broad-spectrum plant-killer glyphosate (trademarks: Roundup, Weedol...) has been in the news over the past two years, in particular because of an unusual public conflict that erupted between the EU's food safety agency (EFSA) and the World Health Organisation's cancer research department (IARC) on whether the substance causes cancer in humans, and at which dose. Given that glyphosate is the most widely-used weed-killer, this is a serious question for farm workers and gardeners, but also for consumers and everyone who lives in cities where it is still used it to kill unwanted plants in streets, school playgrounds and public parks.

15.02.2017 |

Activists keep justice afloat as CETA threatens to sink democracy

Campaigners warn EU-Canada trade deal is surrender to corporate takeover

Press release

Strasbourg/Brussels – Eleven activists kept a sinking statue of lady justice afloat in the icy waters surrounding the European Parliament in Strasbourg, ahead of a crucial vote on a controversial EU-Canada trade and investment protection deal.

Photos and video available for download soon.

Activists will stay in the water until the vote.

Environment, health and labour rights campaigners warn that the deal – known as CETA – would hand corporations the power to sue governments and threatens laws that protect nature, public health and social rights.

The swimmers (from France and Germany), wearing survival suits and supported by activists in three inflatable boats, urged members of the European Parliament (MEPs) to reject the deal and displayed banners in English, French, German and Dutch. The English banner read: “Sink CETA, not justice”.

15.02.2017 |

Deal puts interests of big business first

The European Parliament has today (15 Feb) voted in favour of CETA. Commenting on the vote, Greens/EFA trade spokesperson Yannick Jadot said:

"This is a defeat for the EU and for the prospect of regulating globalization by putting human and social rights and the environment ahead of the interests of big businesses. A majority of MEPs, including the EPP, Liberals and many from the S&D, have shown themselves to be deaf to the well-grounded concerns of civil society, employees, consumers, local authorities, SMEs, lawyers and citizens.

"The European Parliament has failed to learn the lessons from the Brexit vote and Trump victory and has increased the power of the multinationals at the expense of citizens. Let's not forget, CETA was negotiated by former Canadian Prime Minster Stephen Harper, a well-known climate sceptic, and former Commissioner De Gucht, who had various business interests. This conflict of interest laid the ground for an agreement built by, and for, big businesses.

27.01.2017 |

EU: no member state licensing for the three GMO cultures

On Friday, the representatives of the 28 EU member states refused to authorise the cultivation of three genetically modified seeds.

They have also refused to sign up to the seeds' prohibition. The member states decided to leave this decision in the hands of the European Commission, the latter says.

The vote was organised by the European Executive within a specific technical committee. This is the first of its kind, since new legislation adopted in 2015 came into force. This allowed member states to request prohibition in all or part of their particular state of GMO (Genetically Modified Organism) culture.

Seventeen member states (Bulgaria, Germany, Cyprus, Latvia, Greece, Croatia, France, Austria, Hungary, Poland, the Netherlands, Lithuania, Italy, Slovenia, Malta, Luxembourg and Denmark) have thus decided to refuse GMO culture. Equally so have four regions, being Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and Wallonia.

27.01.2017 |

Commission in hot water as EU governments fail to support GM crops in Europe

27 JANUARY 2017

Today, EU governments opposed the European Commission's proposal to authorise the first new GM crops for cultivation since 1998, but failed to achieve the necessary majority for the proposal to be formally shelved.

Governments voted on a proposal to authorise two new strains of GM maize, and the reauthorisation of the one strain of GM maize that is currently grown in the EU.

A majority of national governments rejected the proposal but failed to get the qualified majority necessary to ban the GM crops outright. It is now up to the Commission to decide whether to reject the three crops or table another with governments.

27.01.2017 |

Commission fails to muster support for 3 GMOs

Press release - January 27, 2017

Brussels – National government representatives voting today did not provide the support needed by the European Commission to approve two new genetically modified (GM) crops and extend approval of the only GM crop currently grown in the EU. The vote shows that the Commission is a long way from achieving the qualified majority needed for the approval of the three pesticide-producing GM maizes.

Greenpeace EU food policy director Franziska Achterberg said: “Today’s vote is a clear sign that there is still no appetite for GM crops in Europe. Most countries failed to support the Commission’s proposals, despite the fact that they can now ban their cultivation nationally. Given the widespread opposition to GM crops among EU citizens and parliamentarians, the Commission would be blind to interpret this as a green light. GM crops are nothing but a prop for the harmful, intensive agriculture that is promoted by agrochemical companies. Europe should turn the page on GMOs once and for all, and focus its efforts on the urgently needed shift to ecologically sound farming.”

19.01.2017 |

Say no to GMO: Tell your Ministries to block 3 genetically modified maize from entering EU fields!

No new GM plants have been authorised for cultivation in the EU in almost 20 years. In the coming weeks, the European Commission will submit to the Member States’ experts three draft regulations aimed at the authorisation for cultivation in the EU of two GM maize varieties (Bt11 and 1507) and at the renewal of one further variety- Mon 810. There is a high risk that these regulations will pass, even though a clear majority of EU citizens is against the use of biotechnologies in fields and food.

The European Parliament has already made its view clear, as it objected to these three authorization proposals back at the beginning of October. The responsibility is now in the hands of the Member States to do likewise, and you can make the difference!

There are ample reasons not to allow GM cultivation in the EU. Biotechnologies allow privatisation of seeds and of food by the agro-industry. GM plant cultivation is known to increase pesticide use, and is a threat to agro-ecological systems (such as organic farming for example) because of gene contamination in the fields. But more importantly, we do not need GM plants, as we are already producing more than enough food for the EU population, and GM plants do not offer any advantages in terms of price or quality.

The draft regulations will be debated by Member States’ experts on December 9 and voted on January 27. Now is the time to let your Minister know what you think! Click on your country below - sorted according to their usual position on GMOs at the EU level - to send a tweet to your Minister(s) in charge of GMOs.

18.01.2017 |

Urgent EU action alert: Say no to GMO maize cultivation!

Vote will take place 27 January

The European Commission has confirmed that it is planning a vote on Friday 27 January where it will push for the first GMO cultivation authorisations since 1998.

The crops in question include two new strains of GM maize — Syngenta’s Bt11 and DuPont Pioneer’s 1507 — as well as the re-approval for Monsanto’s MON810, which is already grown in Spain and Portugal.

There’s more information here:

Please share this information with all your contacts and get in touch with officials to ask them to oppose cultivation.

18.01.2017 |

Key decision about future of GM crops in Europe

Get active now and tell your ministers that GM crops are unwanted

After several delays, the EU is heading to the decision, if new GM crops would authorisised in the EU in 18 years.

Here ( you can write or tweet to your minister and tell them why our farming and nature needs a GMOfree future.

More and more governments are announcing to reject these toxic crops as Poland, Austria, Greece, Luxembourg, Austria and Hungary.

11.01.2017 |

Citizens’ initiative aimed at banning glyphosate gets the go-ahead

Brussels has agreed to the launch of a European Citizens’ Initiative on banning glyphosate in the EU. EurActiv France reports.

The controversy over the authorisation of the chemical glyphosate could find its way back to the European Commission’s table through a European Citizens’ Initiative (ECI) supported by environmental NGOs, including Greenpeace.

The European executive yesterday (10 January) announced the reception of an ECI inviting the Commission to “propose to member states a ban on glyphosate, to reform the pesticide approval procedure, and to set EU-wide mandatory reduction targets for pesticide use”.

Simply titled ‘Ban Glyphosate’, the initiative will be officially registered on 25 January. From this date, EU citizens will have 12 months in which to add their signature to the document.

One million signatures