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Strong support for Scottish stance on GMOs continues as Lithuania bans cultivation

Alyn Smith, Scotland's sole voice on the European Parliament's Agriculture Committee, has welcomed the move by Lithuania to use new European Union rules to stop the growing of genetically modified (GM) crops.

Lithuania has today joined Germany, Austria and France in making use of new "opt-out" rules to stop GM crop cultivation, even if varieties have been approved by the EU. Approved in March, the new law cleared the way for new GMO crops to be approved but also gave individual countries the right to opt out by banning GMO crops. Previously, when the EU approved crops as safe to produce they had to be permitted for cultivation in all EU states.

The move by the German federal government follows pressure from five state governments for a nationwide ban on GMOs instead of the current “patchwork” approach which leaves it up to German states to decide on a ban.
Alyn said:

"It is heartening to see growing support for Scotland's lead on the GM cultivation opt-out from across Europe, with Lithuania just the latest country choosing to ban cultivation of GM crops on their territory, a list which now includes France, Germany and Northern Ireland amongst others.  

"The greater the territory of Europe choosing to ban cultivation, the greater a chance we have of preventing cross-border contamination of conventional and organic crops by their GM counterparts. 

"Scotland introduced the ban to protect its brand reputation for producing clean, green, high quality natural food and drink products – responding to consumer demand - and I'm pleased to see that many other nations in Europe feel exactly the same way."