Spread the good news! European Commissioners yesterday overturned the European Food Safety Authority's (EFSA) "safe to eat" verdict for three new GM crops -- two varieties of GM maize and one variety of GM potato.
This means the agro-chemical companies can't commercialize these crops in Europe for now. BASF's GM potato was only one European Union vote away from being released commercially. But the Commission has sent it to the back of the authorization queue.
For the first time, the Union's most senior lawmakers have publicly doubted the safety of GM crops. The EU Observer paper explains: "The European Commission normally adopts decisions based on the opinion of EFSA, which anti-GMO campaigners complain bases its investigations on data provided by the GM industry itself. It has always declared any GM crops it has studied to be safe."
We didn't get exactly what we wanted from today's meeting (i.e. EU decision to reject these GMOs outright), but public pressure and the weight of scientific opinion got us something that will send the agro-chemical industry and pro-GMO politicians reeling.
Anybody who knows the Commission can tell you: It wouldn't have happened without public pressure. All those postcards to Commissioner Dimas, emails to all the Commissioners, the petitions, the blog comments and the many actions these past six months -- they worked.
What's more, Wednesday's decision means that the EFSA's GM crop evaluation process is broken -- so sending GM crops back to the same body over and over isn't good enough. There's more to do clearly, but this decision is an historic milestone for the movement, and a stumbling block for the GMO industry.
Many of you have been putting pressure on the industry and politicians about GMOs for years, others joined in only weeks or months ago. It's been a pleasure and an honour to journey with you all. It'll be a while still before we're rid of GMOs for good, but we'll get there.
The European Commission is so opaque, we'll never know who voted what way. International, collective action can feel a bit like like that -- which is why it's so important to keep at it, keep sharing, and learning. Greenpeace can't do campaigns like this without financial support from 2.8 million people all over the world just like you. If you'd like to support our work with a donation, you can give now online.
Stay in touch, and spread the great news!
Everyone at Greenpeace
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