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17 April 2014 12:48 pm ,
Vol. 344 ,
Officials last week revealed that the U.S. contribution to ITER could cost $3.9 billion by 2034—roughly four times the...
An experimental hepatitis B drug that looked safe in animal trials tragically killed five of 15 patients in 1993. Now,...
Using the two high-quality genomes that exist for Neandertals and Denisovans, researchers find clues to gene activity...
A new report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) concludes that humanity has done little to slow...
Astronomers have discovered an Earth-sized planet in the habitable zone of a red dwarf—a star cooler than the sun—500...
Three years ago, Jennifer Francis of Rutgers University proposed that a warming Arctic was altering the behavior of the...
- 17 April 2014 12:48 pm , Vol. 344 , #6181
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E.U. Parliament Endorses Country Opt-Out for GM Crops
6 July 2011 12:36 pm
The European Parliament yesterday approved a plan to allow individual E.U. member countries to opt out of the cultivation of genetically modified (GM) crops. The European Commission proposed the idea a year ago as a way to break the current deadlock between opponents and supporters of GM crops that has prevented the approval of all but two varieties in the European Union.
The new scheme is a long way from taking effect, however. First, it has to be approved by a qualified majority of the member states, and several key members have already expressed their opposition.
Under current rules, the European Food Safety Authority in Parma, Italy, is responsible for assessing the health and environmental safety of new GM varieties for cultivation. Once approved, a variety is, in theory, allowed in all member states. But so far only one GM variety of maize and one potato used for starch production have been approved. At the same time, six member countries have taken advantage of a "safeguard clause" in the current law to prohibit cultivation of even the approved crops. The opt-out plan would allow countries opposed to GM crops to prohibit their planting without affecting other member states.
Several member country governments have said they oppose the plan because it would be unworkable in light of E.U. and World Trade Organization rules about open markets.