Less and less MON810 cultivation in the EU

MON810 cultivation in the EU is decreasing. Not only big parts of the population, but also an increasing number of regional and national governments declare their opposition. Luxembourg is reported to consider a ban, and in the German parliament a discussion about stopping MON810 cultivation is under way.

In the last years, more and more studies have been published showing negative impacts of Bt crops on non-target organisms, ranging from caddies flies to rats. In December 2008, the EU environmental ministers decided that in future long-term effects need to be included more in the risk assessment of GM crops. Meanwhile the application to renew the approval of MON810 is still assessed by EFSA.

Currently, in March 2009, four EU member states have banned MON810. On 17 February EU experts had decided that France and Greece could keep their ban, and on 2 March a qualified majority of EU environmental ministers rejected the proposal of the EU Commission to force Austria and and Hungary to lift their bans. In the case of Austria, it was already for the third time that the EU Commission failed to get support for their proposal.
Only five countries voted in favour of lifting the bans: the UK, Netherlands, Sweden, Estonia and Finnland; in none of these countries is MON810 grown, or stem borer even a problem.
The German environmental minster Gabriel voted against the proposal, stating that you can't have GM-free regions if you also don't give countries the right to decide on bans.

Germany is besides Spain the only EU country where MON810 is cultivated on a noticable - even though still very small - scale. Cultivation mainly takes place in Bavaria and Brandenburg and in both of these states not only farmers, bee keepers and consumers object it, but also a growing number of higher ranking politicians. The new German agricultural minister Aigner has also publicly been thinking about stopping MON810 cultivation.
In Germany, all GM cultivation needs to registered with location and acreage, and this acreage so far has been reduced compared to 2008.

According to reports from Greenpeace also Luxembourg considers banning MON810 as a fifth of the 26 EU member states.