Food safety commissioner Vytenis Andriukaitis failed on Wednesday (28 October) to convince the European Parliament to adopt a plan which would give member states the power to ban the use of genetically modified food ingredients.
In a Strasbourg plenary vote Wednesday afternoon 579 of 751 MEPs said the Commission should withdraw it, which the Commission refused to do. Following the Commission's refusal, the plenary voted again, inching towards unanimity, with 619 MEPs rejecting the plan.
By rejecting the legislative proposal, the parliament put one of two required nails in the proposal's coffin. The plan needs approval from both national governments and the European Parliament before it can become law.
It followed a debate in which the proposal received widespread criticism, from all corners of the political spectrum.
The Commission wants to allow national governments to opt-out from the use of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) even if they have an EU-wide stamp of approval. Despite the EU's scientific authorisation process, many European citizens are sceptical of the safety of GMOs.
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