Ask Us Anything About GMOs!

As a farmer growing Bt Cotton in India Since 2004,I would like to know Why European Union and countries like Japan oppose GM Crop?

A:Expert Answer

I believe your question is asking about cultivation of GMOs.


As you may know, there are very few bans in place for GMOs including bans for cultivation.  In most countries, where there are differences in the number of approvals for the importation of GMOs for food and feed use and approvals for cultivation use, governments simply have not yet approved various GMO crops for cultivation.  This is largely because either the developer of the GMO seed has not sought/is not interested in an approval for cultivation, as is the case in Japan for some GMOs, or because there are political delays in the approval system, which is the situation in the European Union.


Japan, a country with a functioning, science-based regulatory process for GM products, had approved 130 GMO products for food use and the 95 crops for environmental release (including  cultivation) by mid-2011.


In contrast, the European Union has been plagued by regulatory delays in the final step of the approval process for GMO crops—a political decision-making process in which the members states vote on the European Food Safety Authority scientific opinion.  As such, by mid-2011, 39 GM products had been approved for food and feed use in the EU, 72 approvals were stuck in the regulatory process, and just two GMOs had been approved for cultivation.  The irony is that while the EU does not grow many of the GM crops that other farmers around that world can choose to do, it also cannot grow enough food or animal feed to sustain its population using conventional or organic agriculture.  As a result, despite the political interference that causes delays in the European approval process, the EU imported 72 percent of the protein-rich feed needed to support its livestock industry in 2011 from Brazil, Argentina and the United States, the vast majority of which is GMO.


It’s important to note that the safety assessment process for GMOs  is similar around the world—in India, the EU, Japan, China, Brazil, Korea, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, the United States and in many, many other countries. Each has determined that GMOs are substantially equivalent to their non GMO counterparts.

Topic: Government Oversight and Product Approvals  1 Comment | Add Comment