Speaking at an event on 23 June hosted by EuropaBio, Andriukaitis said GMO (genetically modified organisms) was the only area "where Member States were unable to express an opinion collectively on the EU level."

Andriukaitis added that the EU "must break the political deadlock which has been in place for the last four years. There is no Plan B."

The Health Commissioner was commenting on a recent decision by Environment MEPs to reject a plan from the EU Commission to allow Member States to prohibit farmers importing GM feed for their livestock.

The so-called GMO opt-out clause was rejected on 9 June.

Andriukaitis acknowledged the Commission's plan of an opt-out clause was being "criticised by everyone", with industry groups and green NGOs (non-governmental organisations) saying the move will undermine the internal market.

However, Andriukaitis insisted the plan was not about "renationalising the authorisation of GMOs", saying it would help restore trust in the system, "which is key for the acceptance of GMOs".

Lead MEP Giovanni La Via is currently drawing up a plan to reject the reform plan set for discussion at the next Committee hearing, due to take place between 15 and 16 July.

Related stories

New guidelines drawn up on authorisation to renew GMO food and feed