BRUSSELS/RIGA - Latvia and Lithuania are among the 19 of the 28 EU member states that have banned cultivation of genetically modified organisms (GMO) in all or part of their territory, the European Commission said.
Last Saturday, Oct. 3, was the deadline for the bloc’s member states to announce restrictions or a ban on GMO in their territory and opt-out of the new EU-wide legislation on genetically modified crops.
Genetically modified organisms have been totally banned in Austria, Bulgaria, Denmark, France, Croatia, Cyprus, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Poland, Slovenia and Germany.
Belgium has opted to keep the Wallonia region GMO-free and the UK has banned genetically modified crops in Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland.
The EU had already cleared over 70 genetically modified products including human food, animal feed, and cut flowers.
A genetically modified organism (GMO) is an organism whose genetic material has been altered using genetic engineering techniques. Soy and corn are the most commonplace genetically modified crops, but growing genetically modified rice and canola has also become quite widespread in the world. Current EU legislation only allowed for growing one particular type of genetically modified corn.