GMO news related to Belgium

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.

08.02.2022 |

EU research on risks and detection methods related to new GM plants

Dear Commissioner Gabriel,

Brussels, 8 February 2022

We are writing to ask for a dedicated EU research into the potential risks and analytical detection of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) engineered with new genetic engineering technology, such as CRISPR/Cas.

These GMOs fall within the scope of the EU’s existing GMO legislation, which aims to protect public health and the environment from any adverse effects they may cause. At the same time, they bring new challenges for the application of EU GMO legislation:

 GMOs developed with so-called genome-editing technology pose new and different risks from both conventional breeding and GMOs commercialised today.

 Existing GMO surveillance strategies are insufficient to detect the presence of these new GMOs, especially when they do not contain foreign genetic material.

17.11.2021 |

EU Farm to Fork Strategy: Science, Civil Society and the Planet over Corporate Interests

Slow Food Europe is back with a second episode on the EU Farm to Fork Strategy, which was proposed by the EU Commission last year to accelerate the transition towards sustainable food systems in Europe.

Last month, the EU Parliament voted in favor of this strategy despite repeated lobbying attacks from the agrifood industry. Slow Food warmly welcomed this vote, and took the opportunity to gather three panelists who have worked hard on the Farm to Fork Strategy since the start:

Nina Holland, researcher at Corporate Europe Observatory

Martin Dermine, policy officer at PAN Europe

Tilly Metz, Member of the Group of the Greens/European Free Alliance at the European Parliament

06.09.2021 |

Groups slam Commission plans to deregulate new GMOs

Commission reportedly aims to exempt some new GMOs from safety regulations within four years and change regulation for all new GMOs within 10 years

In April this year the European Commission's health division DG SANTE published a "working document" in which it announced that the EU's GMO regulations are "not fit for purpose". The Commission made suggestions that could lead to crop plants produced using experimental new GM techniques such as gene editing being exempted from the requirements of the regulation. This could mean that these crop plants would not be subjected to safety checks, GMO labelling, or traceability and monitoring requirements.

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