GMO news related to Belgium

12.07.2022 |

10 things the food sector needs to know about New GMOs: number 2

The main differences between targeted mutagenesis (=new GMOs) and conventional breeding

Targeted mutagenesis is the term for new GMOs that are produced with new genetic engineering methods, such as CRISPR/Cas, TALENs and others. As a rule of thumb no genetic material from other species is permanently integrated.

Targeted mutagenesis is the term for new GMOs that are produced with new genetic engineering methods, such as CRISPR/Cas, TALENs and others. As a rule of thumb no genetic material from other species is permanently integrated.

09.07.2022 |

New GMOs Will Not Reduce Pesticide Use

Reducing pesticide use by 50% by 2030 is a central goal of the EU Farm to Fork strategy, which aims to improve the sustainability of food and farming systems and reverse environmental degradation. However, there are claims that new genetically modified (GM) plants can help achieve this.

First-generation GM crops were introduced over 20 years ago with the same promises of pesticide reductions that are now being made for new GM crops. However, the data show that this first-generation of GM crops has increased pesticide use in countries where they are widely grown. The huge majority of GM crops are either herbicide tolerant or insect-resistant. In both cases, either weeds from the GM crop’s ecosystem or plant pests have in their turn evolved to become resistant or tolerant, leading to an increase in pesticide use.

30.06.2022 |

Biased questions and flawed assumptions

How the EU Commission and EFSA are paving the way for deregulation of New GE

30 June 2022 / Testbiotech recently participated in an European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) consultation on guidelines for the risk assessment of ‘cisgenic’ plants, which ended at the beginning of this week. The ‘cisgenic’ plants are genetically engineered, but, in contrast to transgenic plants, contain no genetic material from other species. EFSA suggests that most applications of CRISPR/Cas can be put into this category. The consultation is, therefore, generally relevant to the risk assessment of plants derived from New GE (also called new genomic techniques, NGT). However, the way in which EFSA deals with this issue appears to be completely inadequate.

12.05.2022 |

New GMOs and pesticides reduction: fast-track to failure

Reducing pesticide use by 50% by 2030 is a central goal of the EU Farm to Fork strategy, which aim to improve the sustainability of the food and farming systems and reverse environmental degradation. The European Commission claims that new genetically modified (GM) plants can help achieve that and is moving ahead with plans to deregulate this new generation of GMOs.

This briefing examines the history of first-generation, currently grown GM crops, as well as the new GM crops that are commercialised and in the pipeline. Based on the evidence, new GM crops will not reduce pesticide use. Some are even designed to increase it.

Pursuing false GM promises for pesticide reduction distracts from proven approaches. This briefing provides an overview of system-based solutions to effectively achieve pesticide reduction goals.

08.04.2022 |

Sign to Keep New GMOs Strictly Regulated

Tell your national ministers and your Members of the European Parliament to keep new GMOs strictly regulated!

Sign the petition now!

05.04.2022 |

Take action! Stop the biotech industry's deregulation push for new GMOs

The EU GMO safety rules are under threat. Big chemical and seed corporations are pushing the EU to allow new genetically modified organisms (GMOs) onto the market without safety tests, monitoring nor consumer labeling. These companies have been lobbying the European Commission for years to exclude new GMOs from the European GMO regulation, making unsubstantiated claims on the supposed benefits for sustainability. But as they also hold patents on the seeds engineered with these techniques, their true motivation remains to increase their profits. Such an industry takeover of seeds would seriously threaten farmers’ seed autonomy and agricultural biodiversity as a whole. Following industry pressure, the European Commission is now taking the first steps to deregulate new GMOs.

17.03.2022 |

A loud lobby for a silent spring | The pesticide industry's toxic lobbying tactics against Farm to Fork

In order to tackle the grave threat of the biodiversity crisis, the EU will table a proposal for targets for the reduction of pesticide use. This has put the pesticide industry into survival mode. A newly leaked document from pesticides lobby group CropLife Europe shows that while it talks a big talk about backing the Green Deal, in reality it is employing a wide variety of lobbying tactics to undermine ambitious, binding targets.

17.03.2022 |

A loud lobby for a silent spring

The pesticide industry's toxic lobbying tactics against Farm to Fork

In order to tackle the grave threat of the biodiversity crisis, the EU will table a proposal for targets for the reduction of pesticide use. This has put the pesticide industry into survival mode. A new leaked document from pesticides lobby group CropLife Europe shows that while it talks a big talk about backing the Green Deal, in reality it is employing a wide variety of lobbying tactics to undermine ambitious, binding targets.

16.02.2022 |

MEPs demand EU funding for research into gene editing surveillance

A cross-party coalition of MEPs co-signed a letter to the European Commission demanding EU-funded research into the potential risks and analytical detection of genetically engineered organisms, stressing this is needed to create informed policies on the matter.

The letter sent 8 February, emphasises that the EU executive cannot just invest in EU research to advance genetically modified (GM) technology and its applications, but should also “urgently invest in EU research to deepen our knowledge of potential risks, and to enable the detection and traceability of GM products across the food chain”.

10.02.2022 |

Increase in calls for an international conference to stop patents on seeds

A petition calling for a European conference on patents is finding increasing support. The goal is to stop patents on conventionally bred plants and animals. Recent examples of these include patents on barley, bush melons, lettuce and tomatoes. Many of these patents also cover food, including beer. The Free Brewers, which has members in Germany, Austria and Luxembourg, has now started a campaign to support the petition. The European farmers’ umbrella organisation, COPA / COGECA, previously declared its support for the petition.

“From our perspective, these patents are an abuse of patent law that weaken the protection of plant varieties and seriously restrict the freedom to operate of breweries. We, therefore, fear drastic consequences for the whole of our economic sector,” explains Jürgen Keipp, head of The Free Brewers.

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