Omega Science, 29 April 2013:
Writing in the Cell Press journal Trends in Plant Science, scientists from Spain and the United Kingdom argue that the European Union will be unable to meet increased demand for food and crops in a sustainable and environmentally conscientious way without its changing policy with regard to genetically engineered (GE) crops.
The authors criticise the ‘paradoxical’ approach to agricultural policy within the EU which has, they say, distorted the economic and regulatory harmony that was aimed for into a ‘fragmented, contradictory and unworkable legislative framework’. Since the principles of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) are not supported in – or, therefore, reflected by – practice, the EU damages not only the member states, but any chance they may have of fulfilling their humanitarian commitments going forward.
Professor Paul Christou, Institució Catalana de Recerca i Estudis Avançats (ICREA) research professor in the Department of Plant Production and Forestry Science at the University of Lleida’s Agrotecnio Centre for Research in Agrotechnology, addressed ScienceOmega.com’s questions on the paper.
What reason does the EU have to hold on to the attitude that genetically modified organisms (GMOs) are not acceptable, maintaining policies to prevent their cultivation? According to Professor Christou and his co-authors, the suppression of GE crops is reflective of short-term political and economic goals as opposed to long-term sustainability in agriculture, human health, and food safety.