ECJ Ruling on Member State GMO Bans a Victory over the Precautionary Principle

The American Soybean Association (ASA) welcomed news yesterday that the European Court of Justice ruled EU member state governments cannot ban cultivation of genetically engineered crops in the absence of scientific evidence of risk to human health. ASA President Ron Moore, a soybean farmer from Roseville, Ill., issued the following statement on the ruling:

“From a scientific standpoint, today’s ECJ ruling is a comforting one. The Court’s decision reverses the ‘precautionary principle,’ which has been the EU’s longstanding default argument that, in the absence of proof that a product is absolutely safe, unverified concerns about its safety are sufficient to ban either importation or cultivation. Unfortunately for the last 20 years, this unscientific approach has given rise to an equally unscientific patchwork of restrictions or prohibitions on EU imports and cultivation of biotech crops by member states, even after those products have been approved by the European Food Safety Authority, not to mention countless other food safety and global health agencies. We are happy to see this ruling and hope it will lead to similar science-based stances on genetic engineering in Europe in the years to come.”