Austrian Health Minister Sabine Oberhauser and several Italian Ministries have recently confirmed that these two countries have requested to opt-out from raising the eight different variety of genetically-modified corn which is being allowed at the EU level. Under the new EU regulations, this means that Austria and Italy now have a full ban of genetically-modified crops.
“Austria has made use of the newly created EU opt-out rules for the authorization of genetically modified crops,” Oberhauser stated on Wednesday. She further added that Austria’s geographical opt-out demand was delivered to the European Commission earlier this week.
The Italian Minister of Agricultural, Food, and Forestry Policies-Maurizio Martina has partnered with Beatrice Lorenzin the Minister of Health and Gian Luca Galletti the Environment Minister to prepare eight letters to be send to the EU prior to October 3. A different letter will be sent for each of the eight varieties of GM corn to demand Italy’s opt-out from growing them.
On Monday Septembre 21st, Northern Ireland also joined the massive wave of EU countries that have decided to ban the cultivation of GM crops under new EU regulations that were passed earlier in 2015.
Northern Ireland, Lithuania, Greece, Latvia, and France have also recently announced their opting-out of growing GM crops. Other countries who have recently announced that they will be joining this wave of EU countries are Scotland and Germany.
In August, Christian Schmidt, the German Agriculture Minister, announced to the German states that he intended to utilize the new EU law in order to ban the use of genetically-modified crops. The government in Scotland also announced in August that they will do everything they can under the law that was passed last March to protect their green, clean status.
The German announcement also came as Professor Carlo Leifert, Professor of Ecological Agriculture at Newcastle University, said that he strongly believes the Scottish Government ban on GM crops is right and that “there are likely to be significant commercial benefits from Scotland being clearly recognized as a GM-free region”.
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