GMO news related to the European Union

07.06.2021 |

EU Countries Support the Deregulation of New GMOs

Last week, EU Member States welcomed the alarming Commission’s study on “New Genomic Techniques”, which suggests certain new GMOs to be exempt from rigorous safety assessments. Slow Food sees this disappointing conclusion as a proof of the EU’s resort to biotechnologies as a silver bullet for current food system problems and calls on the EU institutions to keep new genomic techniques strictly regulated.

06.06.2021 |

The European Commission’s Working Document on “New Genomic Techniques” POLICY BRIEF

On 29 April 2021, the European Commission published a report in which it concluded that new GMOs or New Genomic Techniques (NGT) “could provide benefits for EU Society” including improving the sustainability of our food systems, and that the current EU GMO rules were no longer “fit for purpose”, paving the way for the deregulation of certain new GMO crops. Such deregulation could entail less stringent safety assessments of new GMOs as well as no longer requiring new GMOs to be labelled or traceable throughout the food supply chain, which currently ensure farmers’ and consumers’ freedom of choice.

What does the report say?

The report summarizes consultation responses submitted by EU member states and stakeholders (including civil society organizations, farmers’ associations and businesses), as well as various EU reports. The Commission’s investigation is clearly marked by an effort to suggest a balanced approach. However, there are clear indications that the study does want to set political accents that are serving industry interests:

05.06.2021 |

People’s Movements To Counter UN Summit; Call To Reclaim Food Systems From Corporate Control

On the occasion of World Environment Day, June 5, people’s movements and civil society organizations around the globe today launched the Global People’s Summit (GPS) on Food Systems, a counter-summit to the UN Food Systems Summit (UNFSS) slated to be held later this year. Organisers of the GPS are among the hundreds of CSOs and indigenous peoples organizations who have previously voiced criticisms of the UNFSS for its ties to big businesses and exclusion of small rural food producers.

04.06.2021 |

Texas Wine Grape Growers Sue Bayer-Monsanto Over Dicamba Drift Damage

Some growers report losses of up to 95 percent.

The volatile nature of the pesticide dicamba has meant that it can wind up miles away from where it was sprayed.

Dicamba, and dicamba-resistant seeds, were meant to be the next huge product for Monsanto, which was bought by agrochemical giant Bayer back in 2018. But “dicamba drift,” the name for the phenomenon in which dicamba particles float through the air onto plants that have no protection against it, has affected farmers and forests across the country. Most often, we’ve seen dicamba drift pegged as a damaging agent on unprotected soybean fields, but soy is far from the only victim. A new lawsuit claims that dicamba drift leveled extensive damage on vineyards—in Texas.

01.06.2021 |

The Return of Pink Bollworm in India’s Bt Cotton Fields: Livelihood Vulnerabilities of Farming Households in Karimnagar District

Abstract

Since its introduction in India, Bt (Bacillus thuringiensis) cotton technology has been the object of controversial scholarly and non-academic debate. The recent return of pink bollworm (Pectinophora gossypiella) pests in several Indian states has provided cause for concern about widespread resistances in Lepidopteran pests towards the endotoxins produced in Indian Bt cotton plants as well as about severe setbacks in regard to cotton farmers’ livelihood security. This study is the first to provide empirical evidence on the socio-economic consequences of recent bollworm attacks in India based on an exploratory study conducted in Karimnagar district, Telangana, India. It analyses the changed vulnerabilities that smallholders currently face and identifies the reasons why some peasant farmers can only deal with the consequences of this technological failure to a limited extent.

28.05.2021 |

Genetically modified salmon head to US dinner plates

The inaugural harvest of genetically modified salmon began this week after the pandemic delayed the sale of the first such altered animal to be cleared for human consumption in the United States, company officials said.

Several tons of salmon, engineered by biotech company AquaBounty Technologies Inc., will now head to restaurants and away-from-home dining services—where labeling as genetically engineered is not required—in the Midwest and along the East Coast, company CEO Sylvia Wulf said.

Thus far, the only customer to announce it is selling the salmon is Samuels and Son Seafood, a Philadelphia-based seafood distributor.

AquaBounty has raised its faster-growing salmon at an indoor aquaculture farm in Albany, Indiana. The fish are genetically modified to grow twice as fast as wild salmon, reaching market size—8 to 12 pounds (3.6 to 5.4 kilograms)—in 18 months rather than 36.

26.05.2021 |

EU food retailers oppose any moves to classify new plant breeding techniques as non-GMO

Leading EU supermarkets such as Aldi, Rewe and Lidl say that all products stemming from new genetic engineering methods such as CRISPR/Cas, TALENs and others, must be classified as GMOs.

22.05.2021 |

Statement: We Protest Against the Distribution of Gene-edited Tomato Seedlings that are Destroying Biodiversity

Calling on the Japanese Government to Strictly Regulate All Gene-edited Organisms

22 May 2021

Consumers Union of Japan

22 May is the International Day of Biodiversity, established by the United Nations. Although this day should be a day to celebrate the abundance of nature, in May this year, the free distribution of gene-edited tomato seedlings has begun in Japan, threatening biodiversity. In addition, gene-edited rice and potatoes are being grown on a trial basis, and there is even a new move to approve fish developed in this way.

19.05.2021 |

‎The Food Chain: What's the appetite for gene edited food?

Gene editing could revolutionise agriculture, with some scientists promising healthier and more productive crops and animals, but will consumers want to eat them?

With the first gene edited crops recently approved for sale, Emily Thomas hears why this technology might be quicker, cheaper and more accurate than the older genetic engineering techniques that produced GMOs, and asks whether these differences could make it more acceptable to a deeply sceptical, even fearful public.

Contributors:

Jennifer Kuzma, North Carolina State University;

Hiroshi Ezura, University of Tsukuba and Sanatech Seed;

Neth Daño, ETC Group;

Philippe Dumont, Calyxt

17.05.2021 |

Slow Food Europe Podcast: What’s Going on with New GMOs?

Episode 1 | What’s Going on with New GMOs?

What are new GMOs? How do they differ from old GMOs? What are the EU latest developments on the matter? We asked three experts to answer these questions and many more:

Elisa D’Aloisio, peasant farmer at the European Coordination Via Campesina with a PhD in genetics and practical expertise in GMOs

Martin Sommer, policy coordinator at IFOAM Organics Europe, the association for organic food and farming in Europe

Madeleine Coste, Policy Officer at Slow Food Europe

EnglishFranceDeutsch