Green NGO welcomes Malta’s decision to opt out of growing GMO crops

Friends of the Earth warns that GM technology is both risky and redundant, and that European people are rejecting them outright 

Friends of the Earth Malta welcomed the Maltese government’s decision to ban the cultivation of genetically modified organisms (GMOs), availing itself of an EU opt-out clause.

“Outright rejection of GM crops snowballed across Europe, as governments or regions from most European countries take political steps to ensure their countries are GM-free,” FoTE chairman Martin Galea de Giovanni said in a statement. “There has never been a clearer signal that GMOs, and the companies that make them, are not wanted in Europe.

“The technology is not only risky, but redundant. People, and the governments that represent them, are rejecting them outright.”

An EU law approved in March cleared the way for new GMO crops to be approved after years of deadlock. However, the law also gave individual countries the right to ban GMO crops, even after they have been approved as safe by the European Commission.

The Environment Ministry said that, through its decision to opt out, Malta is contributing to the smooth functioning of the EU internal market, “through the likely improvement in the process for authorisations of GMOs, as well as to the freedom of choice for consumers, farmers and operators, whilst providing greater clarity to affected stakeholders concerning the cultivation of GMOs in the union.”