Members are concerned that the proposal might prove unworkable and lead to the reintroduction of border controls between pro and anti-GMO countries.
The proposal will be subject to a vote by the whole European parliament at the end of October.
“A clear majority in the committee does not want to jeopardise the internal market. For us, the existing legislation should remain in place, and member states should shoulder their responsibilities and take a decision together at EU level, instead of introducing national bans,” said Environment Committee chair Giovanni La Via.
The EU already has laws allowing member states to individually prohibit cultivation of EU-approved GM crops on their territory, which have been controversial. The new proposal was intended to bring food and feed into line with these existing laws.
Secretary-General of EU-wide agriculture organisation Copa-Cogeca, Pekka Pesonen, said: “This a very welcome move.
"The Commissions’ proposal amounts to renationalisation and if it had gone through, competition would have been distorted in the internal market.
"It would also threaten livestock farmers livelihoods who rely on imports of feed.”