The European Court of Justice ruled that member state governments cannot ban the cultivation of genetically engineered crops in the absence of scientific evidence that they are a human health risk.
American Soybean Association President Ron Moore said the ruling is a comforting one from a scientific standpoint. “The Court’s decision reverses what the EU calls the ‘precautionary principle,’ their long-standing default argument that without proof that a product is unsafe, unverified concerns about safety are sufficient to ban either importation or cultivation,” says Moore. “Over the past 20 years, this unscientific approach has led to a patchwork of unscientific restrictions on EU imports and cultivation of biotech crops by member states.”
Those restrictions or prohibitions were put in place in spite of the products being approved by the European Food Safety Authority, as well as numerous other food safety and global health agencies. Moore said the Soybean Association is happy with the ruling and hopeful it will lead to similar science-based stances on genetic engineering in Europe during the years ahead.