GMO news related to Belgium

07.04.2021 |

Report: majority of consumers want compulsory labelling on all genetically modified food

A majority of European consumers want to see compulsory labelling on food products containing genetically modified crops, according to a recent Ipsos report, but industry players insist that this is impossible to implement.

The report, commissioned by the Greens/EFA group in the European Parliament and carried out by the polling organisation Ipsos, surveyed thousands of consumers across all 27 member states between February and March of this year in an attempt to gauge their understanding and attitudes towards genetically modified (GM) crops.

06.04.2021 |

Gene editing myths and reality – a guide through the smokescreen

An unprecedented drive is under way to promote new genetic modification techniques that are collectively termed gene editing – most notably CRISPR/Cas. The agricultural biotech industry claims that these techniques can provide solutions to our food and farming problems, including the challenges posed by climate change, pests, and diseases.

This report, published by the Greens/EFA in the European Parliament and authored by GMWatch editor Claire Robinson with technical input by molecular geneticist Dr Michael Antoniou, looks at the claims and shows them to be at best misleading and at worst deceptive. It shows that gene editing is a costly and potentially dangerous distraction from the real solutions to the challenges faced by our food and farming sectors.

02.04.2021 |

EU Watchdog Radio: Episode 20 Biotech lobby versus Green Deal

In this new episode of EU Watchdog Radio we dive into the covert lobby tactics used by the biotechnology industry to get a new generation of GMO’s to be used in agriculture, deregulated in the EU. Why are agrochemical companies like Bayer and Corteva to against having European safety rules? And why is the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation financing this lobby-campaign?

A few decades ago some agrochemical companies started selling patented seeds created with genetic modification, for growing plants called GMO’s. They are now trying to promote a next generation of GMO’s using new genetic editing techniques like Crispr/Cas. But the companies do not want these to be called new GMO’s because in Europe those have a bad reputation and track record. The first generation GMOs did not live up to the expectations that were created back then.

30.03.2021 |

OPINION POLL ON THE LABELLING OF GM CROPS

An Ipsos opinion poll 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. It also shows that 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 polling organisation, Ipsos conducted the representative survey between 11 February and 5 March 2021 in all 27 EU countries on behalf of the Greens/EFA Group in the European Parliament.

30.03.2021 |

A Long Food Movement: Transforming Food Systems by 2045

The International Panel of Experts on Sustainable Food Systems (IPES-Food) has released a new report in collaboration with the ETC Group: 'A Long Food Movement: Transforming Food Systems by 2045'.

We map out two very different futures for food systems, people and the planet. First, what do the next 25 years have in store under “agribusiness-as-usual”? The keys of the food system are handed over to data platforms, private equity firms, and e-commerce giants, putting the food security of billions at the mercy of high-risk, AI-controlled farming systems, and accelerating environmental breakdown.

30.03.2021 |

Civil society, farmers and business organizations: Vice-President Timmermans, don’t deregulate GM crops & animals

BRUSSELS, 30 MARCH 2021 – Today, a large coalition of 162 civil society, farmers and business organisations calls on Vice President of the Commission Timmermans to ensure all organisms derived from new genetic engineering techniques continue to be regulated in accordance with existing EU GMO standards – upholding the precautionary principle, safeguarding a high level of protection and the right of farmers and consumers to choose what they plant and eat.

The call comes as the Commission is expected to present its views on the future regulation of “new genomic techniques” at the end of April, based on an in-house study mandated by the EU Council of Ministers. Since the European Court of Justice ruled in 2018 that organisms obtained with new genetic modification techniques must be regulated under the EU’s existing GMO laws, there has been intense lobbying from the agriculture biotech industry to weaken the legislation.

29.03.2021 |

Revealed: the new lobbying effort to deregulate GMOs

Political pressure aimed at deregulating the new generation of genetically-modified organisms (GMOs) has been mounting in the EU since 2018 - when the European Court of Justice ruled that these new techniques still fall under the current framework dealing with genetic-engineering products.

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A new investigation by the NGO Corporate Europe Observatory (CEO), published on Monday (29 March), has uncovered how fresh lobbying strategies aimed at deregulating modern genetic techniques are driven by various academic and biotech research institutes with corporate interests - using 'climate-friendly' narratives.

Nina Holland, a researcher at CEO warned: "We should be extremely wary of the biotech industry's attempts to hype genome editing products as 'green' and 'climate-friendly'."

29.03.2021 |

Derailing EU rules on new GMOs

CRISPR-Files expose lobbying tactics to deregulate new GMOs

With the European Green Deal and the Farm to Fork Strategy, the Von der Leyen Commission has committed to a fundamental shift away from industrial agriculture as we know it today. With a 50 per cent pesticide reduction target, and a 25 per cent organic agriculture target by 2030, business as usual is no longer an option. This creates an existential crisis for those corporations that are dominant both in the pesticide and in the commercial seed market, notably Bayer, BASF, Corteva (DowDupont) and Syngenta (ChemChina).

11.03.2021 |

Risk assessment standards: Pressure growing on EU Commission and EFSA

EU Parliament has again voted against further market approvals of genetically engineered plants

11 March 2021 / The EU Parliament has again voted with a huge majority against further market approvals for genetically engineered plants. Substantial gaps in the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) risk assessment were identified. In earlier votes, EU member states also voted overwhelmingly against market approvals. Consequently, there is growing pressure on the EU Commission for much closer scrutiny of EFSA findings and applications for market approval.

The applications were for the import of Monsanto/Bayer cotton (for food and feed) and for Syngenta (ChemChina) maize. Maize MZIR098 is resistant to the herbicide, glufosinate, and produces two synthetic insecticides (Bt -toxins). Cotton GHB614 × T304-40 × GHB119 is made resistant to glufosinate and glyphosate and also produces two insecticides.

24.02.2021 |

New GM technology has no place in sustainable farming

Our MEPs Benoît Biteau and Martin Häusling argue that new GM technology won’t solve the problems of industrial agriculture and will undermine nature, climate protection and the European Green Deal.

GM developers are promoting ‘gene editing’ as a way to save nature and the climate

In recent years, a range of genetic modification (GM) techniques have emerged that are referred to as ‘gene editing’. One of them is the much-hyped CRISPR/Cas ‘gene scissors’, whose inventors have been awarded the Nobel Prize. The GM seed industry is claiming that we cannot miss out on this technology – which they call “plant breeding innovation” – if we want to make farming more sustainable, and reduce pesticide use in particular.

There’s no doubt that farming must become more sustainable. There’s no doubt also that there is an urgent need to reduce artificial inputs such as pesticides and fertilizers. But telling us that GM is a way to get there? Seriously?

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