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1st 'Citizens' Initiative' to call for GM crop freeze
The petition calling for a moratorium on all new GM crop production in Europe until a proper safety regime has been put in place was launched in March 2010.
Spearheaded by Greenpeace, the initiative follows the authorisation by the Commission of a BASF antibiotic-resistant GM potato that month – the bloc's first GM cultivation approval in 12 years.
According to Greenpeace, one million signatures from across every country in the EU were collected by 28 September and "signatures continue to pour in from across Europe".
Commission President Barroso will be informed of the petition results today (6 October) and the organisers hope to arrange a "personal handover of the petition and signatures in the coming weeks".
The petition is the first to be presented under the 'Citizens' Initiative', a principle enshrined in the EU's Lisbon Treaty since December 2009. The idea is to allow citizens to directly participate in the EU legislative process.
Once an initiative has attracted one million signatures from citizens who are nationals of a significant number of EU member states, the Commission, as a college, is obliged to give serious consideration to the request.
Organisers stressed that the Commission cannot ignore public rejection of GM crops and urged the EU executive "to act swiftly" to address the concerns of European citizens, EU governments and independent scientists.
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