EU food and feed chain partners say they reject the European Commission’s proposal to allow individual EU nations to authorize genetically modified crops for feed and food use.

The group, which includes COCERAL, Copa-Cogeca, FEFAC and the Federation of European Rice Millers, says that ensuring that current legislation is properly implemented should have been the main priority of the Commission instead of trying to change the present market authorization procedure.

Under the proposal, any European country could opt out of an EU decision authorizing the cultivation of genetically modified crops even if EU scientific advisers determined it was safe for growing and consumption. National governments could cite non-scientific reasons — such as socio-economic or land-use policies — to bar cultivation.

Speaking on behalf of EU Food and Feed Chain partners, Pekka Pesonen, Copa-Cogeca Secretary General, warned the European Commission about the adverse economic and social impact of this proposal. “It will seriously threaten the internal market for food and feed products, causing substantial job losses and lower investment in the agri-food chain in ‘opt-out’ countries. This would cause serious distortions of competition for all EU agri-food chain partners,” he said.

The EU food and feed chain partners urge the EU Parliament and Council to reject the Commission’s proposal.