"Allowing Madeira, which is one of Portugal’s autonomous regions, to become the first E.U. territory to get formal permission from Brussels to remain entirely free of genetically modified organisms." "Individual European countries and regions have banned certain genetically modified crops before. Many consumers and farmers in countries like Austria, France and Italy regard the crops as potentially dangerous and likely to contaminate organically produced food. But the case of Madeira represents a significant landmark, because it is the first time the commission, which runs the day-to-day affairs of the European Union, has permitted a country to impose such a sweeping and definitive rejection of the technology. The Madeirans’ main concerns focused on preserving the archipelago’s biodiversity and its forest of subtropical laurel trees."
.Source: James Kanter. "E.U. Signals Big Shift on Genetically Modified Crops". 9 May 2010, NY Times, 24 June 2013. http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/10/business/energy-environment/10green.ht... [verified 4/15/14][verified 4/25/14]