Fischer Boel: an EU voice for advocacy in ag and trade

Here are a couple of my favorite quotes extracted from speeches by the EU Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development Mariann Fischer Boel:

“Technology is needed to “produce more food with less”…As climate change gathers pace, and as water shortages and disease become more serious, we can’t afford to shut our minds to the possible benefits of GM crops with improved resistance to disease and environmental stress. It’s essential that, around the world, we listen clearly to the voice of science when taking decisions …” (World Summit on Food Security, Rome – November 17, 2009)

“Month after month, GMOs receive a clean bill of health from EFSA, but then get stuck because Member States cannot reach any qualified majority, in favour or against, when it comes to the vote on a proposal for authorisation. So first the relevant committee decides nothing; then the Council decides nothing; and finally, the Commission grants authorisation, as laid down in the rules. This process swallows huge amounts of time…vital time is being lost in procedures. The result is that a growing number of GM products are widely used in other parts of the world, but are not yet authorised in the European Union – not because we’ve found evidence of risk, but because the political decision is being knocked around like a ball in a slow-motion tennis match…For the farm sector, the imbalance between the European Union and the rest of the world is a clear and present financial threat…We must vote on the basis of science, not prejudice…” (Policy Dialogue at “European Policy Centre”, Brussels – October 15, 2009)

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