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EU Parliament: Clear “No” to new GM Maize – UK MEPs out of step

Immediate release (17 Jan 2014)

GM Freeze welcomed yesterday’s rejection by the European Parliament of a second GM maize crop in EU fields. [1]

The resolution, from the Environment Committee, instructed the Council of Ministers to oppose commercialisation of the controversial GM maize Pioneer1507 on the grounds it will harm non-target insects like butterflies and because it is resistant to the weedkiller glufosinate. The resolution was passed by 385 votes to 201 with 30 abstentions (62.5% in favour). [2]

GM Freeze noted with dismay that of 73 total UK MEPs 33 voted against the motion (45.2% against), effectively signalling their support for this unwanted, risky GM crop. [3]

Authorisation of the crop will be voted on by the Council, which is facing a deadline of 7 February to process the application due to a General Court ruling in September 2013. [4] If the Council does not return a qualified majority either way the unelected Commission can decide on the application.

GM Freeze Director Helena Paul commented:

We know the UK public does not want GM crops, yet when it comes to the resolution more UK MEPs failed to vote at all than voted to keep a new GM crop out of EU fields. Voters need to take note.

We also know that even Defra Secretary of State Owen Paterson says of Pioneer1507, ‘This is not a crop of practical interest for UK farmers,’ yet he urges its acceptance. [5] Apparently many UK MEPs also think it’s ok to vote for a new GM crop in someone else’s back yard. These votes were cast by a mix of Liberal Democrat, Labour and Conservative MEPs, showing that as we approach MEP elections in May there is plenty for UK voters to worry about if they want UK fields to remain GM-free into the future.

The Parliament has made itself clear: there are several good reasons why Pioneer1507 is unacceptable for cultivation in the EU. The UK Government needs to vote ‘No’ on the application.


[1] GM Freeze, 17 December 2013. “GM Freeze statement: GM maize 1507 cultivation application process”

[2] See

[3] Full UK MEP voting roll below

[4] GM Freeze, 13 November 2013. “UK Warned: Devolved rejection of GM means UK must vote “No” on new maize

[5] Speech at Oxford Farming Conference from Environment Secretary Owen Paterson, 7 January 2014. “Opportunity in Agriculture

UK MEP votes on Pioneer1507 motion
(a vote against the motion is a vote to allow cultivation of this GM crop):

Stuart AgnewEast of EnglandAgainst
Martina AndersonNorthern IrelandFor
Marta AndreasenSouth East EnglandAgainst
Richard AshworthSouth East EnglandAgainst
Robert AtkinsNorth West EnglandDidn’t vote
Gerard BattenLondonAbstain
Catherine BearderSouth East EnglandAgainst
Phil BennionWest MidlandsAgainst
Godfrey BloomYorkshire & the HumberDidn’t vote
Sharon BowlesSouth East EnglandAgainst
Philip BradbournWest MidlandsDidn’t vote
Andrew BronsYorkshire & the HumberFor
John BuftonWalesDidn’t vote
Martin CallananNorth East EnglandAgainst
David Campbell BannermanEast of EnglandAgainst
Michael CashmanWest MidlandsAgainst
Giles ChichesterSouth West EnglandAgainst
Derek ClarkEast MidlandsAbstain
Trevor ColmanSouth West EnglandDidn’t vote
William, Earl of DartmouthSouth West EnglandDidn’t vote
Chris DaviesNorth West EnglandAgainst
Nirj DevaSouth East EnglandDidn’t vote
Diane DoddsNorthern IrelandAgainst
Andrew DuffEast of EnglandAgainst
James EllesSouth East EnglandDidn’t vote
Jill EvansWalesFor
Nigel FarageSouth East EnglandDidn’t vote
Vicky FordEast of EnglandAgainst
Jacqueline FosterNorth West EnglandDidn’t vote
Ashley FoxSouth West EnglandAgainst
Julie GirlingSouth West EnglandAgainst
Nick GriffinNorth West EnglandFor
Fiona HallNorth East EnglandFor
Daniel HannanSouth East EnglandAgainst
Malcolm HarbourWest MidlandsAgainst
Roger HelmerEast MidlandsAgainst
Mary HoneyballLondonAgainst
Richard HowittEast of EnglandDidn’t vote
Ian HudghtonScotlandDidn’t vote
Stephen HughesNorth East EnglandDidn’t vote
Syed KamallLondonAgainst
Saj KarimNorth West EnglandAgainst
Timothy KirkhopeYorkshire & the HumberDidn’t vote
Jean LambertLondonFor
Sarah LudfordLondonFor
George LyonScotlandAgainst
David MartinScotlandFor
Linda McAvanYorkshire & the HumberFor
Arlene McCarthyNorth West EnglandDidn’t vote
Emma McClarkinEast MidlandsAgainst
Anthea McIntyreWest MidlandsDidn’t vote
Edward McMillan-ScottYorkshire & the HumberAgainst
Claude MoraesLondonFor
Mike NattrassWest MidlandsAbstain
Bill Newton DunnEast MidlandsAgainst
Jim NicholsonNorthern IrelandAgainst
Paul NuttallNorth West EnglandDidn’t vote
Brian SimpsonNorth West EnglandFor
Nikki SinclaireWest MidlandsAbstain
Peter SkinnerSouth East EnglandFor
Alyn SmithScotlandDidn’t vote
Struan StevensonScotlandAgainst
Catherine StihlerScotlandFor
Robert SturdyEast of EnglandAgainst
Kay SwinburneWalesAgainst
Charles TannockLondonAgainst
Keith TaylorSouth East EnglandFor
Rebecca TaylorYorkshire & the HumberDidn’t vote
Geoffrey Van OrdenEast of EnglandAgainst
Derek VaughanWalesAbstain
Graham WatsonSouth West EnglandFor
Glenis WillmottEast MidlandsAgainst
Marina YannakoudakisLondonDidn’t vote