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EU Court Rules in Favor of GMOs

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Italy sued a farmer for planting GMO corn, courts said the farmer was in the right.

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The European Union (EU) court recently ruled in favor of Italian farmer Giorgio Fidenato who planted GMO corn. Italy didn’t allow farmers to plant GMO products and sued Fidenato in 2013, according to AP.

European Court of Justice (ECJ) ruled that member states cannot ban GMO crops since there is no scientific basis for it. AP says ECJ cited the European Commission’s 1998 authorization of the very seeds Fidenato planted saying there is “no reason to believe that that product would have any adverse effects on human health or the environment.”

Fidenato and other farmers in the country can now freely plant the seeds they so choose. The American Soybean Association (ASA) applauds this decision by ECJ.

“From a scientific standpoint, today’s ECJ ruling is a comforting one. The Court’s decision reverses the ‘precautionary principle,’ which has been the EU’s longstanding default argument that, in the absence of proof that a product is absolutely safe, unverified concerns about its safety are sufficient to ban either importation or cultivation,” says Ron Moore, ASA president and farmer in Illinois. “Unfortunately for the last 20 years, this unscientific approach has given rise to an equally unscientific patchwork of restrictions or prohibitions on EU imports and cultivation of biotech crops by member states, even after those products have been approved by the European Food Safety Authority, not to mention countless other food safety and global health agencies. We are happy to see this ruling and hope it will lead to similar science-based stances on genetic engineering in Europe in the years to come.”

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