by Staff Writers
Brussels (UPI) Jul 6, 2011
The European Union Parliament voted to give EU member states the power to restrict or ban genetically modified crops on environmental or health grounds.
The draft legislation, which still has to be considered by EU governments, would enable member states to place restrictions or bans on genetically modified crops that go beyond the EU-wide mechanism of regulation, the BBC reported Wednesday.
A report approved by Parliament members Tuesday said member states "may adopt measures restricting or prohibiting the cultivation of all or particular GMOs [genetically modified organisms], in all or part of their territory, on the basis of grounds relating to the public interest."
Granting more flexibility to member states would not undermine EU-level assessments, the report said.
Supporters of genetically modified crops argue they produce higher yields and are resistant to pests, requiring less fertilizer and pesticides, while opponents say more scientific data is needed on possible long-term harmful genetic impact on humans and wildlife.
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French oyster farmers return favour to Japan
Tokyo (AFP) July 7, 2011
Twice in the past 40 years, French oyster farmers were saved by their colleagues on Japan's northern Pacific coast. After the March 11 tsunami, they decided it was time to return the favour. This week they kicked off an aid effort to help oyster growers who lost everything when the seabed quake sent a massive tsunami barrelling into Japan's northeast, destroying entire towns - and their liv ... read more
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