GM debate must be science-led, says MEP

AN MEP has urged the European Parliament to dismiss ‘dogmatic politics’ in favour of science when formulating policy for genetically modified (GM) technology.

George Lyon, Liberal Democrat MEP for Scotland, spoke in the European Parliament this week in response to the European Commission’s proposal to allow Member States to unilaterally ban, restrict or permit commercial cultivation of GM crops.

Mr Lyon, who is drafting the European Parliament’s response to the Commission, warned the Commission proposal could allow politics to run the debate.

“Decisions on new technologies such as GMs should only be based on scientific advice.

“The danger with this proposal is that it would allow Member States to ban cultivation for political reasons.

“Without the bedrock of scientific advice to anchor decisions, you risk setting a dangerous precedent in choosing what is popular over what is safe.

“Consumers have genuine fears which need to be addressed by politicians, not exploited for political gain.

“I have serious reservations about the Commission’s approach to this issue and the agriculture committee will have to come to a decision to either reject the proposal or improve it through amendments,” he said.

Source: Quadrant

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