GMO news related to Germany

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.

31.01.2024 |

Green Week 2024: Important commitments to freedom of choice regarding GMOs

The German Federal Agriculture Minister Cem Özdemir (Greens) and Peter Hauk (CDU), his regional counterpart from Baden-Württemberg, made an explicit commitment to maintaining freedom of choice for genetically modified food at the "Grüne Woche" [Green Week] 2024 in Berlin. VLOG used the trade fair for talks with politicians.

Özdemir: Extremely strong market needs to be protected

"Anyone who wants to farm GMO-free must be able to do so reliably in the future," said Özdemir in his opening speech at the reception of the organic food sector at the Green Week. "This is about an extremely strong market that has the right to be protected," added the Minister, "addressing those who otherwise always sing the praises of the market economy and market forces".

12.12.2023 |

No majority in favour of GMO deregulation among EU agriculture ministers

The Spanish EU Council Presidency has failed in its attempt to gain a sufficient majority of Member States in favour of genetic engineering deregulation in a rush job. This, at least, means a brief break in the debate.

Fast-track deregulation has failed for the moment

Alexander Hissting, Managing Director of the Association for Food without Genetic Engineering (VLOG) comments: "Fortunately, the attempt to fast-track the deregulation of genetic engineering has failed for now. The German Agricultural Minister Cem Özdemir rightly said very clearly during the vote in Brussels that the current plan would pose an existential threat to the billion-euro organic and 'Ohne Gentechnik' (Non-GMO) markets.

21.11.2023 |

139 organisations join forces to preserve GMO regulations

In a joint position paper, 139 associations and organisations have called on the German government and the European Parliament to reject the EU Commission's proposed deregulation of genetic engineering.

14.11.2023 |

New Genomic Techniques – time for the European Parliament to stand up for its citizens

Negotiations are in full swing on the European Commission’s proposal for a regulation on New GMOs (New Genomic Techniques). With the Commission proposing a full deregulation of this type of gene editing, should the proposal become law, it would unleash untested and unlabeled GMOs onto European fields, into the supermarkets and on to people’s plates – GMOs that European citizens do not want in their food.

19.10.2023 |

New GM plants: EU Commission has lost science and safety from sight

Press release 19 October 2023

The European Commission’s proposal to exempt most ‘new’ genetically modified (GM) plants from regulation lacks scientific basis, scientists of the European Network of Scientists for Social and Environmental Responsibility (ENSSER) point out. The proposal will expose citizens and the environment to potentially unsafe food, feed and plants without informing the citizens. It amounts to a shameful attack on the Precautionary Principle (PP). New GM plants must remain regulated by the existing EU legislation, which has proven to serve its purpose well.

31.08.2023 |

New genetic engineering: EU Commission proposal for new regulation endangers nature, the environment and our future livelihoods

In July 2023, the EU Commission presented a proposal for the future regulation of plants whose genome has been altered with new genomic techniques (NGTs), e. g. with CRISPR/Cas gene scissors. The Commission appears intent on abandoning the basic principle of current EU legislation, i. e. that all organisms obtained through genetic engineering processes must undergo risk assessment. The EU commission proposal suggests creating a new ‘Category 1’ for the majority of NGT plants – these would then only need to be registered but not undergo in-depth risk assessment. In legal terms, the NGT plants of Category 1 would then be equal to conventionallybred plants, i. e. deregulated, even if they are biologically different. Under the new regulatory framework, neither the intended traits of the NGT plants nor the unintended genetic changes brought about by NGT processes would need to undergo risk assessment. The Commission also proposes abandoning its previous requirements in regard to methods of detection and labelling.

07.07.2023 |

New Genetic Engineering – Small Cause, Big Effect

The EU Commission is presenting a new narrative about GM, the basic concepts of which were first developed over 20 years ago by scientists at Wageningen University

Here's an excellent article about the European Commission's GMO deregulation proposal, by the journalist, former MEP, and expert on GMOs Benedikt Haerlin. He has been around long enough to have witnessed the failed promises of the first generation of GM crops in the 1990s and early 2000s.

04.07.2023 |

Analysis statement of ENSSER on the European Commission’s leaked new GM proposal

This statement was sent to members of the European Parliament and competent authorities in several EU member states today.

The EU Commission’s proposal is scientifically unacceptable, removes the provisions of the precautionary principle and puts the public and environment at risk. Critical scientific expertise and its supporting scientific evidence was completely ignored. The proposal follows exclusively the guidance and assertions of the public and private biotechnology sector – and is therefore to be classified as one-sided. In the following, we briefly explain why this is so – with scientific reasoning and evidence. We focus on the Annex I only for now.

19.01.2023 |

VLOG survey: Distinct majority opposes lowering of EU GMO standards

The EU Commission is planning to lower the standards for the approval and labelling of genetically modified plants and food. The German government should not support this, according to a distinct majority in a new VLOG survey.

58 percent of respondents in a representative Civey survey at the beginning of January 2023 opposed the German support for the EU Commission's plans to deregulate genetic engineering, only 25 percent were in favour, and just under 17 percent were undecided.