EU governments voted in the General Affairs Council on a proposal by the European Commission to authorise the cultivation of a variety of GM maize in the EU for the first time in 15 years (GM maize 1507, Herculex by Pioneer -Dupont). A majority of EU member states voted against the authorisation but the results fell short of the qualified majority required for outright rejection. The Greens called on the Commission to acknowledge this opposition and withdraw the proposed authorization.
Reacting to the decision of the Member States , José Bové , vice president of the Committee on Agriculture of the European Parliament stated :
« The European Parliament, the majority of Member States and 80% of citizens do not want GMOs in Europe. Therefore the situation is very clear. Despite the absence of a qualified majority, especially following the inconsistent abstention of Germany, which applies a de facto moratorium on GM maize MON 810 for years , the decision is once again up to the European Commission. It is absolutely inconceivable that three member states ( United Kingdom, Spain, and Sweden) two of which produce virtually no corn on their territory should represent the interests of Pioneer, the second largest seed multinational of the planet.
The European Commission has to answer’s request Pioneer but the treaties do not call for automatically acceptation of GMOs. The answer of the EC is not a technical issue but a highly political decision.
In a democracy, common good should come before business interests. There is no democratic mandate for authorising this GM maize variety. In these circumstances, it seems clear that the role of José Manuel Barroso, the President of the European Commission to prohibit Pioneer 1507 following the majority of the citizens and the majority opinion of the Member States. Any other position would be incomprehensible and unacceptable. »