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Sunday 25 February 2018

Deadlock over growing GM crops in Europe

Seventeen EU countries - including France, Germany, Italy and Poland - have national bans on the two crops
Seventeen EU countries - including France, Germany, Italy and Poland - have national bans on the two crops

Sarah Collins

The EU is deadlocked over whether to allow two new genetically modified (GM) maize varieties - and one previously authorised crop - to be grown in the bloc.

They are the first GM plants to be considered for cultivation in the EU in almost 20 years - aside from BASF's Amflora potato, which was approved but later shot down by the EU's court.

MEPs are against the move, as are several EU countries, including Ireland.

Seventeen EU countries - including France, Germany, Italy and Poland - have national bans on the two crops, so will not allow them to be grown on their territory even if they are approved by the EU. Ireland does not have a ban in place.

Rabbits

Meanwhile rabbit farmers are being called on to phase out battery cages and give the small mammals more space.

MEPs in the European Parliament's agriculture committee say park or pen farming is more humane and can help prevent disease. The EU has no dedicated rules on rabbit welfare.

"The fight for rabbit-specific EU legislation will continue," said MEP Stefan Eck, who penned a report on the issue.

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The report calls on the EU to fund the changeover from battery farming and promote the consumption of rabbit meat.

Rabbits make up less than 1pc of the EU's final livestock production, according to the report.


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