Parliament fails to develop information on GMOs and environmental costs in food labeling.
The Assembly of the Republic rejected two bills aimed at extending labeling to new food products containing GMOs and to informing consumers about the environmental cost of food production.
The first bill was introduced by Mariana Silva, from the Greens, who argued that “every citizen has the right to make their choices fully and consciously” and that the party remains committed “to combating the cultivation of genetically modified products The manipulation is an incongruity and a danger, because agriculture is practiced in the open field and not in the laboratory â, she underlined.
However, the proposal only received the acceptance of the PCP and the BE and the abstention of the Liberal Initiative (IL), the PS, the PSD, the CDS-PP and Chega voting against.
While discussing the bill, the social democrat JoÃ£o Loura criticized the return of a “discussion which has already taken place and which has already been rejected”, without failing to point out “incongruities” to the document. For MP PSD, the current obligation to provide information on GMOs above 0.9% is sufficient, while noting that imposing the obligation beyond this threshold “is very difficult for science” and that this “would make life difficult for Portuguese farmers”.
The criticism was shared by Cecilia Meireles, of the CDS-PP, the centrist MP considering that the project contains an “ideological prejudice in relation to certain products”. Socialist deputy Palmira Maciel, for her part, only observed that “the concerns which are at the basis of this initiative must be correctly placed in the framework of national policy”.
Conversely, the Left Bloc, through MP Nelson Peralta, accused the major parties of âsubmissionâ to multinational agrochemicals, while the PCP called the proposal âbalancedâ. According to communist JoÃ£o Dias, âthe big bet must be on small and medium-sized agriculture, which produces safe and quality productsâ for domestic consumers.
As for the bill tabled by the PAN and brought to the attention of parliament by Bebiana Cunha, the deputy recalled that the “food sector is one of those with the greatest environmental impact” in the world and that, often, information on its origin and environmental costs of products is reduced or hidden from the public.
The argument did not convince the other parties, PS, PSD, PCP, CDS-PP, Chega and IL rejecting the text.