No qualified majority in the General Affairs Council to block its authorisation. Thus, the EFSA’s positive opinion will be respected and the European Commission will give the green light
No-GMOs are about to be defeated. The cultivation of Pioneer maize 1507 is to be authorised in the European Union. The matter will be discussed and voted during the next meeting of the General Affairs Council on 11 February, and the rejection needs qualified majority to be passed. “Neither the favouring front nor the opposing one is going to get a qualified majority,” explained us a source close to the concerned matter, “thus the Commission will be forced to authorise the cultivation.”
Among the opposing Member States, Italy and France, while the UK and Spain are urging for the cultivation to be authorised. Abstainers such as Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands, are going to tip the balance in favour of authorization: that is because since Pioneer applied for authorization in 2001, there has been no official pronouncement by the European Institutions – even though the European Food Safety Agency, EFSA, had already submitted six positive opinions on the request. Consequently, the General Court of the European Union delivered a ruling finding that the Commission failed to act on this GMO cultivation request and urging to come to a solution – if Member States do not reach an agreement and vote with qualified majority, the Commission will be forced to authorise the cultivation, following EFSA’s opinions.
“The majority of the Member States opposes the authorisation, but they did not reach a qualified majority,” added our source. The opposing front cannot reach an agreement even on the proposal made by Tonio Borg, EU Health Commissioner. With his “cultivation proposal,” he called on the Council to find an agreement on this cultivation proposal to allow Member States to exercise the freedom to choose whether (or not) to cultivate GMOs on their territory. Failing this compromise, the cultivation will be authorised in each Member State, the second GMO cultivation allowed after the Monsanto maize 810.