14.02.2024 |

EU Parliament disregards science by endorsing deregulation of new GM plants

After the EU Commission, the EU Parliament now also displays a clear disregard of science, by endorsing the deregulation of new genetically modified (GM) plants. It thereby puts EU citizens and the environment at risk, in conflict with the Parliament’s mandate to represent their interests. Citizens must now hope that the EU Council, which is still undecided, will stop this deregulation.

By a narrow majority (7%), the EU Parliament has endorsed the Commission’s proposal to deregulate GM plants made with New Genomic Techniques (NGTs), albeit with some amendments. The Parliament has proposed to maintain traceability and labelling of products of the plants (which the Commission wants to abolish) and to introduce a safeguard clause, meaning that a plant or product may be withdrawn from the market if a risk to health or the environment appears. However, the safety of NGT plants and products is still not guaranteed, as risk assessment remains absent from the proposal. So risks may materialise upon consumption or cultivation and may not be dealt with until they are discovered.

08.02.2024 |

New genomic techniques? We’ve been here before

Exempting new GMOs from safety checks won’t solve our food and farming problems and would put health and the environment at risk, says Prof Michael Antoniou.

07.02.2024 |

New GMOs: European Parliament approves deregulation but with some limits

The risk assessment for GMOs obtained from New Genomic Techniques has been abolished. However, traceability and labeling remain in place thanks to two amendments by the Greens and S&D. All could still turn around if member states issue an opinion in the EU Council before the next elections.

7 FEBRUARY 2024 – The 42 organizations that are part of the GMO-Free Italy Coalition express their deep disappointment with the European Parliament‘s vote on the proposed regulation of new GMOs approved today.

The removal of the risk assessment for genetically modified organisms (GMOs) obtained through New Genomic Techniques (NGT) is extremely alarming and goes against the founding elements of the European pact. Thankfully, traceability and labeling requirements were retained thanks to amendments tabled by the Social Democrats and the Greens.

07.02.2024 |

EU Parliament votes to scrap safety rules on new GMOs in handout to biotech industry

However, new GMOs will still be subject to labelling and traceability, thanks to a strong campaign supported by hundreds of thousands of citizens.

The EP voted in favour of a draft law that would scrap all safety assessments for most new GMOs. This would mean a degradation of environmental and health standards in the EU, as a handout to corporations like Bayer and Syngenta.

07.02.2024 |

More misery for farmers as EU Parliament endorses draft law to deregulate GMOs

Brussels – The European Parliament (EP) has endorsed a controversial European Commission plan that exempts many new genetically modified organisms (GMOs) from current safety rules, ignoring critical science, and farmer and consumer rights, warned Greenpeace.

The Commission plan would scrap most safety checks requirements for a new brand of genetically modified plants, produced with so-called new genomic techniques (NGTs).

07.02.2024 |

NGT vote a step backward for biosafety that nonetheless safeguards the possibility for traceability and national “coexistence” measures

BRUSSELS, 07 FEBRUARY 2024 – Today the European Parliament voted on the legislative proposal on so-called “New Genomic Techniques” (NGTs). According to IFOAM Organics Europe the outcome is a step backwards in terms of biosafety and freedom of choice for consumers, but MEPs safeguarded some minimum transparency requirements and even re-integrated traceability provisions that Member States should build on to secure the freedom of farmers not to use genetic engineering.

“A majority of MEPs voted in favor of weakening biosafety requirements for NGTs but also to maintain traceability of NGTs all along the production and the possibility for national coexistence measures to protect organic agriculture”, said Jan Plagge, president of IFOAM Organics Europe, after the vote.

07.02.2024 |

European Parliament chooses its position: for labelling and traceability of all New GMOs

In its plenary vote today on New GMOs, the European Parliament voted in favour of labelling and traceability requirements for all New GMOs, following amendments tabled by the Greens and S&D. Should the Parliament’s position become law business operators (breeders, farmers, food and feed processors, retailers) and consumers will continue to have the right to know what is in their value chains and their food.

07.02.2024 |

For a science-based regulation of plants from new genetic techniques

Technological progress makes genetic engineering a rapidly developing field. In its proposal of July 2023, the European Commission (EC) aims to deregulate a subset of new genetic techniques (NGT). This proposal would exempt certain NGT plants from the current EU regulatory framework for genetically modified organisms (GMOs) based on a considered equivalence with conventionally bred plants. Similar to the French ANSES, the German Federal Agency for Nature Conservation (BfN) argues in its new policy brief that this approach of considered equivalence lacks a valid scientific basis and violates the precautionary principle, since plausible risks cannot be excluded.

07.02.2024 |

Opposition against patent on conventionally-bred lettuce rejected

EU urged to take political initiative

7 February 2024 / Today, after public hearing, the European Patent Office (EPO) rejected an opposition against a patent on conventionally-bred lettuce. The patent (EP2966992) was granted to the Dutch company, Rijk Zwaan, in 2018, and was opposed by No Patents on Seeds!. The ‘invention’ in the patent: the seeds are supposedly capable of germinating at higher temperatures.

07.02.2024 |

EU Parliament in favour for deregulation of NGT plants, BUT …

Contradictory results in Strasbourg

7 February 2024 / The EU Parliament (EP) today voted in favour of the deregulation of plants derived from new genetic engineering (NGT). It is doubtful that all MEPs have understood what they decided. A comment by Pascal Canfin on X (formerly Twitter), in which he claims that these plants would only be used to save pesticides and combat climate change, seems almost satirical. Canfin is chairman of the EP’s Environment Committee. He also suggested that a vote should be held first and only then should EFSA be asked for a further opinion on the risks.