New directive allowing ban on GMO cultivation approved by Council of the EU

A new directive  granting Member States the right to ban a GMO or a group of GMOs has been approved today in the Competitiveness Council meeting after being approved by the EU Parliament earlier in January 2015. The directive is expected to enter into force by the end of March 2015.

Previously, national bans did not have sufficient legal weight meaning that countries enacting them could easily be taken to court by companies.

Because Member States will have the power to enact national bans, the EU Commission is expected to increase the number of GMOs authorised for cultivation in Europe. As a consequence, the risk of GMO contamination increases for both the conventional and organic sector, especially in countries that are traditionally support GM cultivation and across their borders . Moreover, the costs of GMO contamination will be borne by the organic and GM-free sector, as effective liability regimes are not mandatory.

IFOAM EU is convinced that the most effective way to protect both consumers’ rights and the integrity of the organic sector is to ban GMOs at EU level. This is why IFOAM EU advocates for better policy frameworks to protect the organic sector from GMO contamination.

These advocacy activities are part of the “Keeping GMOs out of organics” project. Read more about the project on our website or contact alejandro.gil [at] (alejandro.gil [at] if you would like to know more about this project.

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