EU’s Anti-Science Comitology Reform Threatens Innovation

Washington, D.C. (February 14, 2017) – The European Commission announced today a proposal to revise its Comitology Regulation forcing policy decisions to individual EU member countries.

The Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO) issues the following statement in response: 

“BIO is extremely discouraged by the European Commission’s new proposal to alter voting procedures regarding product authorizations, such as import authorizations for GMOs.

“This process, known as Comitology, has been broken for years because it allows politics to undermine the risk assessment function of the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) and other independent European risk assessment agencies. However, with this proposal the Commission is attempting to shift responsibilities back to the Member States rather than working towards building confidence and consensus in support of the independent scientific opinions of EFSA. 

“This proposal adds substantial uncertainty regarding the future of EU import approvals for GMO crops and the ability of Europe’s food chain to have access to a reliable and safe supply of high quality imported grains and oilseeds.  Further, this move sends yet another message that Europe has no interest in encouraging investment and innovation in agricultural technologies.”