GMOs in Italy

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GMOs in Italy describes the policy toward genetically modified crops and livestock in Italy.

Amato Decree Banning Four GE Corn Varietes

In August 2000, Italy banned the commercialization of four biotech corn varieties: BT 11 (Novartis), MON 810 (Monsanto), MON 809 (Monsanto) and T25 (Aventis).[1] Known as the "Amato Decree," this was later annulled on November 29, 2004, by a Lazio regional court.

The name Amato Decree refers to then Italian Prime Minister Giuliano Amato, who led the government when it enacted the ban. In May 2001, the government shifted, as Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi came to power. Still, the Agriculture Minister Giovanni Alemanno maintained the ban on the 4 varieties of GE corn. During that time, Alemanno, made promises to "lift the Amato decree in conjunction with implementation of regulations on the coexistence of GM and non-GM cultivation" but did not do so.[2]

In November 2000, Assobiotec, the Italian organization of biotech companies) and three multinational biotech companies (Monsanto, Pioneer Hi-Bred, and Syngenta) filed a lawsuit against the Amato Decree in the Lazio Regional Administrative Tribunal (TAR), claiming the decree violated several existing laws.[3] On November 29, 2004, the court annulled the Amato Decree's ban.

"The ruling concurred w a 2003 European Court of Justice opinion that such a ban was justifia[sic] only if a Member State could demonstrate scientific evidence of risk humans."[4]

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