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More possibilities for countries to decide on the growing of GMOs available from spring

2015-01-14

Yesterday the European Parliament adopted the decision that in spring EU Member States will be able to decide for themselves whether they want to plant genetically modified crops. Under the applicable EU legislation, EU Member States may prohibit the cultivation of GMOs based on the safeguard clause related to a risk to the environment and human health. In such cases, the decision must be scientifically justified.

For example, under Lithuania’s geographic conditions, there has been no scientific research carried out in the field of GMOs. Therefore, Lithuania is practically unable to take advantage of the currently applicable safeguard clause regarding risks to the environment and human health.
Based on the decision of the European Parliament, EU Member States will be able to freely limit or prohibit the cultivation of all or certain GMOs in some or all of its territory.

Upon the entry into force of the new Directive, a two-phase system will be applied to the prohibition of the cultivation of GMOs in a member state.

In the first phase, before the issuance of an approval to GMO for commercial cultivation, an EU Member State should submit through the European Commission a request to the company, which has filed an application and notice regarding the GMO for commercial cultivation, regarding the restriction (exclusion) of the geographical scope of the authorisation. If the company disagrees to exclude the country from the geographical scope of the authorisation, it can apply the second phase by selecting other legal grounds for the ban, such as urban and rural planning, social and economic consequences in order to avoid the presence of GMO in other products, objectives of agricultural policy, public policy, etc.

The fact that our country does not grow genetically modified crops is confirmed by the results of the GMO control. In Lithuania, just like in the rest of the European Union, the cultivation of genetically modified cultures and the supply of genetically modified products into the market are strictly controlled. So far, the Ministry of Environment has not approved a single EU authorisation to grow genetically modified crops in the country’s territory, and there are controls in place to prevent the release of GMOs into the environment.

Public Information Division
14 January 2015

Minister of Environment of Lithuania Kęstutis Navickas
Minister of Environment of Lithuania Kęstutis Navickas