EXCERPT: "Swiss people are allowed to ban genetically modified food and agriculture, so why can't the rest of us? Virtually no-one in the EU wants GM food, and EU Ministers tomorrow should give Regions and citizens the right to ban these foods. The EU regulatory framework for GMOs is neither democratic nor transparent and the risk assessment does not fulfill legal requirements."
Give us the right to ban GM foods!
EU Ministers to discuss GMOs
FRIENDS OF THE EARTH EUROPE
Thursday December 1st 2005
Brussels, December 1st Friends of the Earth Europe is calling on EU Environment Ministers to allow European to ban GM foods and crops, similar to the example of Switzerland, which banned GM crops and food earlier this week. Ministers at the EU Environment Council will tomorrow discuss GMO (genetically modified organisms) policy in the EU.
The Network of GMfree Regions  held their annual conference in Brittany, France this week. The Network is calling for EU Regions rights to decide on GMOs and to develop sustainable agriculture and quality food. Throughout Europe, 165 Regions and 4500 local gov and smaller zones have declared themselves GMO free .
Opinion polls throughout the EU consistently show 70-80% of citizens opposed to GMOs. Studies in the US and Canada, where GMOs are grown extensively, indicate that GM crops do not produce higher yields, are leading to an increase in pesticide use, and are contaminating conventional and organic crops .
The European Commission has recently authorized two GM maize and one GM oilseed rape  despite a majority of Member States voting against or abstaining. Futhermore, the EU regulatory procedure has serious shortcomings: scientific evidence used as the basis for authorizing GMOs, much of which is not made publicly available, is not independent, and the legal requirements for the assessment of long term effects on the environment and on human health are not being met.
Helen Holder, GMO campaigner at Friends of the Earth Europe said:
"Swiss people are allowed to ban genetically modified food and agriculture, so why can't the rest of us? Virtually no-one in the EU wants GM food, and EU Ministers tomorrow should give Regions and citizens the right to ban these foods. The EU regulatory framework for GMOs is neither democratic nor transparent and the risk assessment does not fulfill legal requirements ."
For further information:
Helen Holder +324 74 857 638
Adrian Bebb +49 160 949 01163
 "GM Crops Have Failed", December 2001 ,Lim Li Ching and Jonathan Matthews :
and Benbrook, C.M. (2003) Impacts of Genetically Engineered Crops on Pesticide Use in the United States: the First Eight Years. AgBioTech InfoNet Technical Paper Number 6: http://www.biotech-info.net/technicalpaper6.html
Friends of the Earth Europe campaigns for sustainable and fair societies and for the protection of the environment, unites more than 30 national organisations with thousands of local groups and is part of the world's largest grassroots environmental network, Friends of the Earth International
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