The European Court of Justice ruled Wednesday that member state governments can’t ban the cultivation of genetically engineered crops in the absence of scientific evidence of risk to human health.
The case revolves around the planting of GMO corn, variety MON 810, in Italy by Giorgio Fidenato, Leandro Taboga and Luciano Taboga. Italy had banned the planting of the EU-approved corn.
The ruling from the European Court of Justice states that unless there is significant evidence that GMOs are a serious risk to human or animal health or the environment, member states can’t prohibit their use, Reuters reports.
“The Court’s decision reverses the ‘precautionary principle,’ which has been the EU’s longstanding default argument that, in the absence of proof that a product is absolutely safe, unverified concerns about its safety are sufficient to ban either importation or cultivation,” said Ron Moore, ASA president and a soybean farmer from Roseville, Ill. “Unfortunately for the last 20 years, this unscientific approach has given rise to an equally unscientific patchwork of restrictions or prohibitions on EU imports and cultivation of biotech crops by member states, even after those products have been approved by the European Food Safety Authority, not to mention countless other food safety and global health agencies.”