By Greenpeace France
[Translation courtesy GM-free Ireland]
During a “Safety on my plate” conference on the safety of the food chain, Luxembourg’s Health Minister Mars Di Bartolomeo banned the cultivation of BASF’s “Amflora” GM potato in Luxembourg, in the presence of the Agriculture Minister Romain Schneider.
Luxembourg’s ban on the cultivation of the GM potato was announced barely a few months after its approval by the European Commission, before the high representatives of the authority in charge of food safety in Europe (EFSA).
This was at the same location (the Neumunster Abbey Cultural Centre) where Luxembourg banned MON810 transgenic maize in 2009.
The political message is courageous and final: Luxembourg asserts loudly and clearly that it is not ready to accept a GMO menu dictated to it by the European Commission. Following Austria, it’s the second European Member State that has taken the decision to protect consumers and agriculture from the negative consequences of “Amflora”.
Greenpeace and the “GM-free Luxembourg” partner organisations congratulate the Health Minister for taking responsibility on behalf of the consumer, and encourage the Government to continue its determined opposition to the European Commission’s pro-GMO policy.
A risk assessment that must be thoroughly reformed in Europe.
On 2 March 2010, the European Commmission approved the “Amflora” GMO potato developed by the German chemicals giant BASF for cultivation, use in animal feed and presence up to 0.9% in human food. This decision was made despite scientific evidence about the risk of anti-biotic resistance.
Greenpeace and the organisations of the “GM-free Luxembourg” initiative point out that the European Union’s GMO risk assessment and approvals process is deficient and must be reformed.
The current process fails to consider the long-term effecs of GMOs on health and the environment, together with their socio-economic costs for the whole agricultural production chain. “We request the Government of Luxembourg to continue its commmitent for reform of the GMO risk assessment and approvals procedure, in order to directly protect consumers, the environment and agriculture from the negative effects of GMOs”, said Maurice Losch of Greenpeace Luxembourg.
(1): The 20 organisations of the “GM-free Luxembourg” [Luxembourg sans OGM] Initiative:
Aide à l’Enfance de l’Inde, Association Solidarité Luxembourg Nicaragua, ASTM, Attac Luxembourg, Bauerenallianz, bioLABEL Lëtzebuerg, BIONA, Caritas Luxembourg, Demeter Bond Lëtzebuerg, Église Catholique à Luxembourg, Ëmweltberodung Lëtzebuerg asbl. (EBL), FCPT – SYPROLUX, FNCTTFEL – Landesverband, Fondation Hëllef fir d’Natur, Frères des Hommes, GREENPEACE Luxembourg, Haus vun der Natur, Initiativ Liewensufank, LCGB, Lëtzebuerger Natur- a Vulleschutzliga, Lëtzebuerger Landesverband fir Beienzuucht, Life asbl., Mouvement Écologique, OGBL, Slow Food Lëtzebuerg, SOS Faim Luxembourg, Stroossekanner Sao Paulo a.s.b.l., TransFair – Minka a.s.b.l., Union Luxembourgeoise des Consommateurs (ULC)