Fabrizio Monti / Flickr (CC BY-NC 2.0)
After a four year impasse, Italy concluded an agreement on a directive allowing each member state to decide whether or not to ban GMO cultivation on their national territory.
In the second reading, the Presidency concluded an agreement on a draft directive concerning the possibility for member states to limit or ban the cultivation of GMOs on part or on the whole of their national territory. After four years of deadlock, the legislative instrument adopted will allow for the highest possible degree of flexibility for member states when they are called upon to make decisions on GMOs cultivation, thus taking into account the national and local specificity of each territory. This dossier has been of the highest priority for the Italian Presidency.
The new provisions ensure more flexibility in the cultivation of GMOs, under certain conditions, and make reference to two main points:
1) During the authorisation process, member states can apply to make amendments according to the geographical conditions of their territories;
2) After a GMO has been authorised, each member state will be entitled to ban or limit cultivation of such product in case of serious risk to human health, the environment or in case of emergency. Member states growing GMOs should avoid contamination of bordering countries which have not authorised the same cultivations.