The European Union is giving member states the power to ban the cultivation of genetically modified crops even if they have been approved by the bloc's food safety authority.
The 28 EU member states on Monday approved the rule that national governments can have the final say in the matter — a move that goes counter to many EU initiatives, which traditionally seek a common stance on EU policies.
Mute Schimpf of Friends of the Earth Europe says the new law "is a massive opportunity for national governments to shut the door on biotech crops in Europe."
Only one GM crop — corn — is planted in the EU so far, predominantly in Spain. Under the rules, governments would still have to consult biotech companies when banning a crop.