As United States citizens battle legislation like the DARK Act (HR 1599, now headed to the Senate) designed to take away mandatory GMO labeling, across Europe the debate is not over whether to label but instead whether to ban the controversial crops.
Recently one European nation, Scotland, announced its plans to enact a ban, and now another big domino is set to fall on the side of banning GMOs as well: Germany.
According to a report from Reuters today, the nation with a population of over 80 million will make use of the European Union’s “opt-out” clause in order to move toward a ban of genetically modified crops, according to documents seen by the news agency.
The documents were submitted by German Agricultural Minister Christian Schmidt, who has asked German state authorities to submit whether they’d like their regions to be included in the opt-out by September 11.
According to the Reuters article, EU states have until October 3 of this year to decide whether or not to utilize the opt-out close in regards to GMOs.
The EU passed a law in March giving states the option to allow the choice to adopt the controversial crops after many years of opposition and disagreements prevented Monsanto from making headway in Europe.
But opt-out clauses were also included for nations that wish to avoid them.
France is expected to join Germany in opting out of GM crops while Scotland has already announced plans to do the same. Great Britain’s government is in favor, however.
The concern among activists and environmental organizations is that the crops are capable of cross contaminating natural crops from miles away due to pollination, a scenario that is difficult if not impossible to reverse once it happens.
Advocates have also contended that the original approval of the GM crops was an “affront to democracy” since the majority of EU states still oppose them and most citizens in Europe strongly oppose them as well.
For more on the pending German ban you can read this article from Reuters.com.