Luxembourg under pressure over GM maize
(CS) Luxembourg's next government could come under pressure from the EU over a ban of the so-called MON810 hybrid corn by biotech group Monsanto, after a food safety study found “no specific scientific evidence” to support a ban.
Several EU countries, including Luxembourg and Italy, banned the GM crop over concerns of human and animal health, prompting an analysis by the European Food Safety Agency (EFSA).
However, the watchdog in September ruled that there is “no specific scientific evidence, in terms of risk to human and animal health or the environment, that would support the notification of an emergency measure,“ such as the ban in Luxembourg.
On Tuesday meanwhile, Luxembourg reiterated its mission to keep the Grand Duchy GM free in order to “protect biodiversity, agriculture and the health of consumers from the negative effects of GMOs.”
Following a meeting with the not-for-profit “Liewensmëttel ouni Gentechnik – FLOG”, the Ministries of Health, Agriculture and Sustainable Development jointly released a press statement saying that both on a national and European level the government is committed to anti-GM policy-making.
Anti-Monsanto protest on October 12
For example, a pilot project has been rolled out to label dairy products, meat and eggs, showing that animals were fed with GM-free feed.
The statement also points out that the only two GM crops allowed in the EU, MON810 and the potato breed Amflora, are banned in Luxembourg, with the Grand Duchy involved in a group of member states who opposed the licencing of further GMOs.
However, precisely this Monsanto ban is expected to come under attack because of the EFSA verdict and the next government could be forced to defend its prohibition of the crop with the EU, with calls from Luxembourg's Green party to strengthen the GMO ban.
Anti-GM initiative "Eist Iessen - Eist Liewen" and the Luxembourg branch of global initiative Millions Against Monsanto have in the meantime organised a march against the biotech giant. Protesters meet on Saturday, October 12, at 2pm on the Glacis car park from where they will march to the Knuedler.
Until 6pm the association will host information stalls on Place Guillaume II.