STOCKHOLM—The restrictive stance of the European Union on genetically modified organisms (GMO) has frustrated major corporations and some scientists. But there are signs that European politicians might be slowly opening up concerning policy on genetically modified (GM) animals. A new study also shows that European consumers are not more averse to GMOs than consumers in other parts of the world.
In May, the European Food Safety Administration (EFSA) released guidelines for assessing health and environmental risks related to GM animals. This was seen by many as a recognition that applications for raising GM animals will be coming soon, and the EU is preparing to at least deal with them.
Although these guidelines are the culmination of several years of work, their release almost coincided with Monsanto’s declaration that it will stop trying to get its GM crops approved in the European Union (EU).
Earlier this year, another company that develops GMOs, BASF, terminated trials for a GM potato in Europe. The company cited lack of both consumer enthusiasm and political support. This captures well the image of an EU on the fence about GMOs.