GMO news related to Belgium

29.04.2021 |

Press release: European Commission threatens our freedom of choice

New GMOs are being promoted in a study by the European Commission ignoring the precautionary principle and the freedom of choice for farmers and consumers. The Biodynamic Federation Demeter International is deeply concerned by this position and reiterates the necessity to oppose any deregulation of GMOs.

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GMO regulation

In view of the upcoming discussions on a potential new policy on new GMOs, the Federation urges the European Commission and the EU Member States to “take a clear stand against a deregulation of all new GMOs fully enforcing the precautionary principle of the ECJ ”. “Prior risk assessment and authorisation, as well as traceability and labelling, are essential for all products on the market to ensure the freedom of choice for both farmers and consumers, as well as to limit the risks to our health and the environment”, says Clara Behr, Head of Policy and Public Relations at the Federation.

29.04.2021 |

EU study: GMO laws needs overhaul; environmentalists protest

BRUSSELS (AP) — A new European Union study finds that the two decade-old legislation on genetically modified organisms should be revamped, a process environmentalists claim will open the door to a new generation of bioengineered crops being allowed into the EU market without proper checks.

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“The European Commission has fallen hook, line and sinker for the biotech industry’s spin, and has set the future of food and farming in the EU down a dark path,” said Mute Schimpf of Friends of the Earth Europe, reflecting the views of many environmentalists.

She said that the study was “suggesting tearing up decades of the precautionary principle, by allowing new GM crops onto our fields and plates without safety tests.”

29.04.2021 |

European Commission bowing to industry lobby campaign on new GMOs

The study released today by the European Commission on products from new GM techniques like CRISPR-Cas shows that the institution has been lending its ears almost entirely to the biotech industry.

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Nina Holland, researcher at Corporate Europe Observatory said: “DG SANTE has clearly listened more to the biotech lobby than to anyone else. Its study on new GMOs is yet another example of the corporate capture of EU decision-making. This started right from the Commission's extremely biased stakeholder consultation that fed into this study, favouring industry voices.”

29.04.2021 |

EU Commission opening the door for new GMOs

Brussels – The European Commission is gearing up to exempt new genetically modified organisms (GMOs) from current environmental rules, Greenpeace has warned. The EU Commission today released a report on new genetic modification techniques such as CRISPR/Cas, which concludes that more permissive rules may be needed to allow GMOs produced with these techniques.

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Kevin Stairs, Greenpeace EU GMO policy adviser, said: “The EU has a responsibility to protect the rights of farmers to choose what they plant and for people to choose what they eat, and to protect the environment and biodiversity from potential harm from new GMOs. The EU Commission and national governments must respect the precautionary principle and the European Court of Justice’s decision – GMOs by another name are still GMOs, and must be treated as such under the law.”

29.04.2021 |

European Commission opens the door to new GMOs

European Commission backtracks and opens the door to the deregulation of new GMOs, putting citizens and farmers’ freedom of choice at risk

Slow Food is deeply alarmed by the European Commission’s conclusions from the study on “new genomic techniques” which opens the door to the deregulation of new GMOs, ignoring the precautionary principle.

“Through the EU Green Deal and the Farm to Fork Strategy, the European Commission committed to accelerate the transition towards a truly sustainable food system. By suggesting that EU GMO rules must be re-opened, the Commission is falling into the trap of pursuing techno-fixes rather than investing in and promoting agroecological systems that benefit farmers, local communities, and the wider environment,” says Marta Messa, director of Slow Food Europe.

29.04.2021 |

GM food can and must be labelled

As the European Commission is considering how to regulate genetically modified (GM) products created with new GM technology, Eleonora Evi argues that the EU must continue to label all GM food as such, regardless of the technology used to produce it.

Eleonora Evi is a Green MEP.

A recent EU-wide opinion poll commissioned by the Greens/EFA Group in the European Parliament shows that the vast majority (86%) of Europeans who have heard of genetically modified (GM) crops want food produced from these plants to be labelled as such.

The majority (68%) of respondents who have heard of new GM techniques, such as CRISPR, want food produced with these techniques also labelled as GM.

The poll confirms the Commission’s view that Europeans want detailed information about the food they buy, be it on the nutritional quality or the place and method of production.

The Commission has announced mandatory, front-of-pack nutritional information and said it would develop a “sustainable food-labelling framework” that also covers the environmental and social aspects of food production.

26.04.2021 |

Genome edited plants in the EU

A SCIENTIFIC CRITIQUE OF LEOPOLDINA AND EASAC STATEMENTS

The Greens/EFA Group has commissioned the European Network of Scientists for Social and Environmental Responsibility (ENSSER) and Critical Scientists Switzerland (CSS) to critically assess the scientific foundation of a statement published by German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina in 2019 on the regulation of genome-edited plants in the EU.

These are the main findings of the scientific critique:

"The EASAC-endorsed Leopoldina Statement on the regulation of ‘genome edited’ plants is based on a limited number of selected publications. It fails to reflect the findings of at least 200 highly relevant published scientific studies.

These studies document adverse effects of existing genetically modified organisms (GMOs) on the environment and human health, and demonstrate the potential for negative outcomes of more recent genetic engineering tools.

23.04.2021 |

EU Commission study on the future of GMOs – What can we expect?

EU must stop wasting time trying to find loopholes to allow these new GMOs onto our fields and plates, says Mute Schimpf, Friends of the Earth Europe

On Friday April 30 2021, the European Commission will publish a study which will have a key influence over whether or not a new generation of genetically modified crops will be exempt from EU safety, traceability and transparency rules.

The study has already attracted controversy. Friends of the Earth Europe has criticised the European Commission for ignoring its own procedures by allowing the biotech industry to dominate the responses to the stakeholder consultation, as well as failing to respect transparency protocols.

22.04.2021 |

First application for approval of CRISPR/Cas plants in the EU

DowDupont maize (Corteva) is resistant to herbicides and produces insecticides

The first application for approval of CRISPR/Cas plants is now in the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) register. Maize DP915635 is resistant to the herbicide glufosinate and produces an insecticidal toxin found in specific ferns growing on trees. DowDupont is marketing its genetically engineered plants under the company name Corteva, and also has filed several patent applications for the plants, some of which have already been granted in Europe.

The maize was generated with a combination of old and new genetic engineering methods (GE): to deliver the CRISPR/Cas ‘gene scissors’ into the plant cells, they are first bombarded with small particles (‘gene canon’). In consequence, the cells produced the enzyme for the gene scissors which then inserted a DNA-sequence into the maize genome. This additional DNA-sequence is meant to facilitate the insertion of other genes, and therefore is called a ‘landing pad’. In a next step, again involving ‘old GE’, a further gene construct is inserted into the ‘landing pad’ in the maize genome, conferring resistance to the herbicide and producing the fern toxin.

22.04.2021 |

First application for approval of CRISPR/Cas plants in the EU

DowDupont (Corteva) maize is tolerant to herbicides and produces insecticides

The first application for approval of CRISPR/Cas plants is now in the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) register. Maize DP915635 is tolerant to the herbicide glufosinate and produces an insecticidal toxin found in specific ferns growing on trees. DowDupont is marketing its genetically engineered plants under the company name Corteva, and also has filed several patent applications for the plants, some of which have already been granted in Europe.

The maize was generated with a combination of old and new genetic engineering methods (GE). To deliver the CRISPR/Cas "gene scissors" into the plant cells, they are first bombarded with small particles with a gene gun (an "old GE" method). In consequence, the cells produced the enzyme for the gene scissors which then inserted a DNA sequence into the maize genome. This additional DNA sequence is meant to facilitate the insertion of other genes and therefore is called a "landing pad". In a next step, again involving "old GE", a further gene construct is inserted into the "landing pad" in the maize genome, conferring tolerance to the herbicide and producing the fern toxin.

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