GMO Regulation in Europe vs. the United States: A Comparison

Because I have looked into mostly the politics of Monsanto and GMOs in specifically the United States, I realized that it was important to also examine the regulation of GMOs in other parts of the world, specifically Europe, in order to identify what the differences and similarities are in our legislation regarding GMOs versus theirs.

A recent article by Amy Forde for AgriLand lays out the European Union’s legislative handling of GMO’s in a clear way. In short, the European regulation of GMOs is much more stringent. GMO crops can only be produced or sold in the EU after they have been approved by the European Parliament. Because of this careful approval process, only one of Monsanto’s products, Maize MON 810, has been approved to be produced in the EU, and 58 different GMOs have been approved to be sold and consumed. Furthermore, the EU uses strict regulations for labeling GMO foods, requiring foods composed of any more than 0.9% GMO products to be labeled.

Personally, I find the EU’s system for regulating GMOs to be better than that of the United States. The European Union is much more careful of the possible negative effects of GMOs, and their system is reflective of that. It seems to be much more of a ‘happy medium’ than we have in the U.S. – GMOs aren’t banned entirely, but the government is selective of what it allows. Furthermore, a required labeling system allows consumers to make an educated choice – they aren’t forced to stop consuming GMOs, but if they wish not to, they can easily make that decision. In my opinion, it would be wise for the U.S. to consider adopting a similar policy, in order to allow those who are wary of GMOs to avoid them.


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