Greece is among the EU member states which are strictly opposed to the use of genetically modified plants. This was demonstrated once more last week, when the government banned the cultivation of 16 GM maize varieties that already had received EU approval for cultivation. Greek ministry officials claim that research shows that the affected GM maize varieties may pose environmental risks. With the new bans, the list of GM maize varieties prohibited in Greece adds up to 47.
Normally, once a GM crop has been approved for commercial cultivation in the EU, it may be planted legally in any member state. However, with arguments based on the precautionary principle, and referring to scientific studies raising doubts about the crops’ safety to humans or the environment, countries such as Greek or Austria nonetheless have banned EU-approved GM plants.