OPEN LETTER TO EU-COMMISSION PRESIDENT JEAN-CLAUDE
Subject: Plea for coherent decision-making in the EU
Dear President Juncker,
All institutions of the European Union should be measured by the way they comply with democratic and legal principles and follow the rules and regulations laid down by the Community itself, i.e. the Member States and the EU-Parliament.
This applies also to the forthcoming decision of the Commission on the approval for commercial cultivation of three genetically modified maize lines (1507, Bt11 and MON810). On 28 March 2017, the representatives of the 28 Member States did not come to an agreement on such approval. According to EU rules, this should lead to the following: The Commission must now take the decision to authorize commercial cultivation of the three maize lines, in accordance with Regulation (EU) No 182/2001, Directive 2001/18/EC and Regulation (EC) 1829/2003. Additional justification for the Commission’s approval for cultivation of the above-mentioned three genetically modified maize lines is set forth below:
• The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), responsible for the risk assessment of genetically modified plants has performed a risk assessment of the genetically modified plants. After thorough scientific examination, no risks for human health and to the environment have been identified.
• The EU Commission is obliged to comply with its own regulations. According to the principle of supra-nationality within the European Union, the Member States are standing down from exercising their national sovereignty and jointly carrying it out on a European level. The directives and regulations adopted are obligatory for all
In addition, the principle of legal compliance applies. To prevent arbitrariness the EU system can only work if all Member States adhere to the rules previously agreed by all.
• Such a decision will send a strong signal to such individual Member States that prefer to transfer their responsibility to the EU Commission. In addition, it will respect the decision of the Member States who voted in favor of cultivation.
Those members of the EU who by their voting behavior repeatedly refuse to make clear and binding decisions - knowing that according to the legal regulations the EU Commission is subsequently obliged to make a decision - do not live up to the responsibility assigned to them. Instead, they actually make the procedure both time-consuming and cost-intensive by “hiding” instead of taking responsibility. Such practices, which meanwhile have unfortunately been established and are common regarding genetic modification and herbicides, not only diminish the confidence in the work of the European Union, but are also an expression of disregard for common democratic principles.
We therefore kindly ask you to act according to the democratic principles applicable to all EU members and take a timely decision to authorize the three genetically modified maize varieties.
Prof. Dr. Klaus-Dieter Jany,
Wissenschaftlerkreis Grüne Gentechnik e.V. (WGG)
Ricardo Serra Arias,
President of ASAJA Andalucía
Association Française des Biotechnologies Végétales
Pedro Barato Triguero
President of ASAJA España
Prof. Hon. Emeritus Klaus Ammann, University of Bern, Switzerland
Prof. Erik Andreasson, Unit of Resistance Biology, Department of Plant Protection Biology, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Alnarp, Sweden
Eugénia de Andrade, PhD, Independent Researcher, Lisbon, Portugal
Prof. Geert Angenon, Laboratory of Plant Genetics, Faculty of Science and Bioengineering Sciences Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB),Belgium
Assoc. Prof. Bojin Bojinov, Head, Department of Genetics and Plant breeding, Agricultural University of Plovdiv, Bulgaria
Prof. Dr. Borut Bohanec, Head of Chair of Genetics, Biotechnology, Statistics and Plant Breeding at Biotechnical faculty, University of Ljubljana, Slovenia
Jose Ignacio Cubero, Emeritus professor Plant Genetics and breeding, University of Cordoba
Sylvie De Buck, PhD, VIB-International Plant Biotechnology Outreach (IPBO), Belgium
John Davison, Research Director (retired), French National Institute for Agricultural Research, Versailles, France
Roberto Defez, Tenured staff scientist, IBBR, National Research Council Italy
Geert De Jaeger ,Associate Department Director, Functional Interactomics, VIB-UGent Center for Plant Systems Biology, Ghent University, Belgium
Dennis Eriksson, Researcher, Department of Plant Breeding, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU), Alnarp, Sweden
Prof. G. Gheysen, Head Department Molecular Biotechnology, Faculty of BioScience Engineering, Ghent University, Belgium
Prof. Jonathan Gressel, Plant & Environmental Sciences, Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot, Israel
Nicolae Hristea, Agrobiotechrom, USAMV Bucharest, Romania
Dr Penny Hundleby, Senior Plant Scientist, UK
Drew L. Kershen, Professor of Law Emeritus, University of Oklahoma, Norman, USA
Dr. Harry A. Kuiper, former chair of the EFSA GMO Panel, formerly RIKILT, Institute of Food Safety Wageningen University & Research Center, Wageningen, Netherlands
Prof. Alan McHughen, University of California, Riverside, Ca, USA
Dr. Piero Morandini, Assistant professor in Plant Physiology, Department of Biosciences, University of Milan,Italy
Prof. Reinhard Renneberg, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, SAR Hong Kong, China
Rodomiro Ortiz, PhD, Faculty Professor, Genetics & Plant Breeding, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU), Alnarp, Sweden
Dr Agnès Ricroch , University of Paris Sud, President of the Life Sciences Section of the French Academy of Agriculture, France
Anneli Ritala-Nurmi, Principal Scientist, Project Manager, VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland Ltd, Solutions for Natural Resources and Environment
Dr. Anne-Christine Ritschkoff, Executive Vice President, Strategic Research, VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland Ltd.
Angelo Santino, Senior Scientist, ISPA, National Research Council Ital.
Giovanni Tagliabue, Independent researcher, Carugo (Como), Italia
Prof. Tomasz Twardowski, Head of Protein Biosynthesis Department, Institute of Bioorganic Chemistry, Polish Academy of Sciences, Poznań, Poland
Tomas Vanek, PhD Head of Laboratory of Plant Biotechnologies of Institute of Experimental Botany AS CR, Prague, Czech Republic
Prof. Nathalie Verbruggen, Interfaculty School of Bioengineering, Free University of Brussels (ULB)
Prof. Li-Hua Zhu, Department of Plant Breeding, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Alnarp, Sweden
Wissenschaftskreis Genomik und Gentechnik e.V. (WGG)
D-60114 Frankfurt am Main