Humming a Different Tune? Commercial cultivation of GM Crops in Europe

Robert Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


his article examines the amendment to Directive 2001/18 on deliberate release of GMOs that will allow Member States to opt out of growing EU-approved GM crops. Existing EU risk assessment and decision-making processes remain in place but Member States will be permitted to refuse to implement authorisations and ban a GM crop on limited grounds including: environmental policy objectives; town and country planning; land use; socio-economic impacts; agricultural policy; and public policy. This article will argue that, in leaving in place and untouched centralised approval systems for GM, the amendment is by no means guaranteed to appease either those Member States resistant to GM crops or those ready to exploit the potential of the technology. The article begins with a review of why controversy has surrounded the commercial growing of GM crops before reviewing the existing approval processes for GM crops in Europe. The recent reform and the reasons behind it are then explained and finally a critique is offered of the compromise proposal and its consequences are considered.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)185
Number of pages192
JournalBio-Science Law Review
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2015

Bibliographical note

This paper was re-published in (2014) 26(6) Environmental Law and Management 218


  • GM Crops
  • Regulation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences(all)


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