Monday, February 04, 2013

EU politics: that Norwegian fax machine again

Nor 003-pot.jpg

Approval of those horrid GM crops is, as we saw earlier, is part of the Single Market acquis, which means that the EEA would appear to be involved – and indeed it is.

But, if legend has got it right, the moment that dreaded fax machine started chattering with the regulation approving BASF's Amflora GMO potato, all those little Vikings would instantly have been living in GM potato-land. 

For some strange reason, though, nobody told the Norwegian Directorate for Nature Management about this fabled "fax law". Thus, when it was told that the Amflora product had been given market authorisation, it rather irritatingly published a web page telling us that the EEA Agreement only obliges Norway to "consider" all GMOs authorised in the EU. 

Being good little Norwegians, indeed, they have considered Amflora. And, having done so, the Norwegian Directorate for Nature Management decided that "the cultivation and use of the genetically modified potato Amflora in feed and food should be prohibited in Norway".

That, it seems, is as far as they got. Unless you know different, the product was never approved for use in Norway and now that BASF have thrown in the towel, it does not look as if it ever will – all of which is rather peculiar, because Mr Cameron says that Norway "has no say at all in setting its rules: it just has to implement its directives".

And, as we all know, Mr Cameron is never wrong.