￼Are YOU Waking Up To GMO?
Northern Island has become the most recent member of the EU to announce a ban on genetically modified foods, following behind Scotland who banned GMOs in August.
Changes to legislation earlier this year have enabled member states within the EU to regulate the production of genetically modified crops within their borders. Under the new rules, GM crops which have received the approval of the European Union can be banned from being planted in individual countries. The additional level of control for countries ensures that those relying on GMOs to provide food for their population can continue to do so, whilst countries with a good reputation for locally grown produce, such as Wales and Scotland, can avoid the agricultural threat of GMOs to their environment.
Speaking to the BBC, Northern Island’s environmental minister, Mark Durkan, claimed that growing controversial GM crops could be damaging to the region’s image. He also suggested that introducing GMOs could lead to cross-pollination with natural species due to the small size of farms and that avoiding this could be a very difficult and costly exercise.
Attitudes to GMOs in England remain unchanged, with strict safety testing required before GMOs can be accepted. Currently, EU testing has enabled 48 genetically modified organisms to be licensed for sale within animal feed and GMO planting in the UK remains limited, with no crops currently being grown commercially. GMO foods and animal feed are currently labelled, although this is not true for meat and dairy produce obtained from the animals which are fed on GMO feed.