EU to End GM Ban
Reuters: EU Paves Way to End Five-Year Ban on New GM Foods
The European Union is expected to end soon a five-year ban on approvals of new genetically modified (GM) foods, paving the way for a biotech maize product to hit Europe’s supermarket shelves.
The EU’s trade partners, including the United States, have pressured the bloc to remove the ban, but many consumers are wary.
I agree with Alex Knapp that this step was inevitable, given that WTO routinely rules against these protective measures. And I think the European hysteria against GM foods are silly; essentially all food is genetically modified in some fashion. Still, this shows the trade-off that exists between globalization and national sovereignty.
No only is all food genetically modified, even before the days of Mendel, there’s no link between the foods that are considered GMOs and any kind of illness (and the GMOs have been used for years now), but there is a scientifically-proven link between smoking and all sorts of disease. However, often you find the EU dignataries talking against GMOs while puffing away at cigarettes.
I think the whole anti-GM frenzy is just plain silly. And, of course, the EU is way too protectionist for anyone’s (including its own people’s) good. But, I don’t know if the way this happened is good.
Provided that the EU also banned its OWN farmers from using GM foods, and didn’t have some policy of “Local patented foods good; foreign patented foods bad,” I don’t really see why the WTO has a say. The fact that the EU decided to do this unilaterally doesn’t take away from the fact that it WAS being sued through the WTO.
I am against protectionism, but laws that apply universally for domestic and foreign products are another matter. Again, the GM food bad was dumb, but what if someone had sued to overturn laws prohibiting the selling of bestiality kiddie porn, saying that they were discriminating against the national product of Thailand?