Genetically modified organisms may be dumped on us by EU-USA treaty


"The European Parliament passed new directives regarding GMOs this week, which was followed by certain false statements." said Jobbik's MEP Zoltán Balczó in his press conference. 

The European Parliament passed new directives.

Member states are required to present a great number of argumentations to justify their potential decision to ban the cultivation of GMOs in their territories, but the EU can still veto the resolution. All of this is in the interest of the United States, whose goal is to dump the European market with genetically modified products Hungarian government party Fidesz bolsters the EU-USA free trade agreement as well.

These statements were made by Zoltán Balczó in his press conference on Friday.

Several sources have claimed that the new directives enabled member states to freely decide whether they allow or ban the cultivation of genetically modified crops in their territories. "That is not true." Balczó pointed out, adding that member states have in fact a very limited power to prohibit such crops. If a company gets the authorisation to cultivate genetically modified organisms in the EU, it will cover the entire area of the European Union. If a member state wants to prohibit that, it needs to launch a process during which it must present a great number of argumentations, and the committee will make a decision subsequently. If the committee judges that the arguments are not compelling enough, then they can simply reject the country's request for prohibition.

Balczó added that the directive was in opposition with the Hungarian constitution as the latter clearly laid down that Hungarian agriculture must be rendered free of genetically modified organisms in order to guarantee the health of the population. The politician believes true sovereignty could only be ensured if the government of a member state could pass a final decision whether or not to allow genetically modified organisms to be cultivated, based on the particular government's own analysis.


The committee made compromising concessions

"The current EU framework would have allowed for drafting a much better directive." stated the politician who is a member of the competent committee on environment, public health and food safety. Back in November last year, the committee passed an amendment proposal with 51 items, which would have ensured much more room for member states to prohibit certain organisms. However, the committee's delegation later had a trilateral meeting with the European Commission and the Council, during which a compromise was accepted that no longer ensured these opportunities. The committee has made compromising concessions in terms of several items. Even though the original intention was to base the directive on the legal grounds of environment protection, now the legal grounds will be the single market. Furthermore, the member states are not allowed to launch the prohibition process without attempting to make a deal with GMO distributors that are mostly US corporations. MEPs would still have had a chance to choose and pass the right resolution as both proposals were on the table last week, but they accepted the original version there, too.


False arguments for the proposal

The voters of the proposal argued that members states were finally and officially given an opportunity to prohibit GMOs in an area unregulated thus far. "However, this opportunity is restricted and does not ensure sovereignty, so we have no reason to accept it." said Balczó. Supporters also argued that the EU always analyses GMOs before giving them an authorisation. However, the politician reminded the press of a recent Council decision, where 19 countries rejected, 4 abstained while only 5 member states out of the 28 voted for the cultivation of a particular genetically modified maize, but even this rate was not enough for the EU to ban the product.


This is the goal of the USA

Before the final vote, an international non-governmental organization called Friends of the Earth Europe clearly revealed how much GMO cultivation and EU-USA negotiations are interrelated. The NGO's in-depth analysis shows that the corporations producing and distributing genetically modified seeds exercise the greatest pressure on the US government and its representatives at the negotiating tables. The documents clearly reveal that the main goal of the United States in terms of the negotiations on the free trade agreement is to get its genetically modified seeds into the European market.


Fidesz supports it as well

"The Hungarian public may have been led to believe that Fidesz and the government are against the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, but that is not the case." Balczó pointed out, adding that he himself had attended the committee meeting of the Hungarian Parliament last November when State Secretary István Mikola, representing the government's view, asserted that Hungary would clearly bolster the EU-USA free trade negotiations as the treaty could bring about significant advantages for our open economy. This week, Fidesz MEP József Szájer also confirmed his support for achieving a breakthrough in the negotiations as soon as possible.

Zoltán Balczó believes that these events pose a grave threat on a GMO-free Hungarian agriculture. In Jobbik's view, the EU's primary task should be to ensure a GMO-free status for its member states rather than rejecting or overruling prohibitions imposed by these countries.


EU may become a US colony

The risks arising from the free trade agreement were also discussed by Márton Gyöngyösi in his press conference on Monday. The politician said neither Hungary nor Europe could benefit from the proposed treaty. In his view, the "most pressing issue of our era" is whether the EU can retain any of its remaining sovereignty or becomes a US colony for good. He reminded the public how clearly the Ukrainian crisis revealed Brussels' lack of an independent foreign policy agenda and how exposed the EU was to the United States in terms of security, since the US treats our continent as a "geostrategic base".


What's wrong with GMO?

In an earlier press release, Mona Hungary Ltd. analysed the pros and cons of genetically modified organisms.  Backers see a great opportunity in the cultivation of genetically manipulated organisms because, as they put it, they could eliminate famine, but their primary expectation is a quick and considerable profit.

Research scientists admit there is little information available and there are several questions unanswered in terms of the effects of GM organisms. Their cultivation exerts a large pressure on the environment, does not reduce the use of chemicals, while pests may develop a resistance as well. Biodiversity is reduced and genetically modified organisms get involved with the natural environment. The modification includes animals as well, traditional and bio-farming may be at risk or eventually eliminated, too.

The diverse expert opinions include ones that project the potentially hazardous effect of genetically modified organisms on human health.