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".

30.01.2024 |

What are GMOs, and are they really changing because of new gene techniques? on Vimeo

Watch the recording of this educational webinar hosted by Soil & Health NZ on 23 January 2024, where we delve into the world of genetic engineering with Professor Jack Heinemann, an expert from the School of Biological Sciences at the University of Canterbury.

The New Zealand government feels our biosafety rules are leaving NZ behind and believes GMOs are now safer than ever. Professor Heinemann is a genetic engineer with over 30 years of experience. He will share his knowledge of genetic engineering, focusing on the latest advancements. He’ll discuss what risks we should consider with any biotechnology and what makes the latest tools worthy of regulations.

25.01.2024 |

New GMOs: after the vote of the ENVI committee, the European Parliament must oppose the deregulation proposal

This Wednesday, January 24, the ENVI committee of the European Parliament voted in favor of a proposal to deregulate new GMOs. 13 organizations are planning an action in Strasbourg to call on MEPs to reject the text during the plenary debate scheduled for February 6.

The ENVI Commission of the European Parliament has just adopted the text from rapporteur Jessica Polfjärd on plants obtained using new genomic techniques (NTG). Will this version of the regulation, although widely criticized for its lack of scientific basis, notably by Anses in December (1), also lead to a total deregulation of these new GMOs, weakening French agriculture and denying the rights of consumers.

24.01.2024 |

Plenary vote on NGTs: call for postponement after ENVI vote


Today, the Committee on Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (ENVI Committee) voted on the legislative proposal on so-called “New Genomic Techniques” (NGTs) but many unresolved issues loom large.

“This rushed legislative process to deregulate NGTs goes against the interest of European breeders, farmers and citizens. Today’s vote by MEPs in the Environment committee leaves too many issues about risks, patents and the right of farmers and consumers to avoid NGTs, unsolved. Instead of rushing into a plenary vote, MEPs should properly discuss how to protect farmers, consumers and the environment from risks associated to NGTs”, said Jan Plagge, president of IFOAM Organics Europe, after the vote.

24.01.2024 |

MEP backing for GMO deregulation threatens rights of farmers

Brussels – The European Commission proposal on new GMOs, and amendments supported today by the European Parliament’s environment committee, risk violating the rights of farmers and consumers, according to new legal analysis by Greenpeace.

The proposed law does not provide sufficient protection against the contamination of crops with new GMOs, which are obtained through so-called new genomic techniques (NGTs).

Greenpeace EU GMO campaigner Eva Corral said: “Decades of progress in the EU on farmers’ rights, and protecting people’s health and the environment, should not be scrapped for the sake of biotech industry profits. Safety measures do not hinder innovation, nor do current rules that apply to GMOs. EU law does not prohibit research and development: it aims to ensure that what is developed does not breach EU citizens’ rights to health and environmental protection.”

10.01.2024 |

French food safety agency ANSES demolishes Commission's assumptions of "equivalence" for GM plants

ANSES says there is "no scientific basis" for Commission's proposal to remove regulatory safeguards from new GMOs. Report: Claire Robinson

The French government's food safety agency ANSES has demolished the European Commission’s proposal for a definition of a class of new GM plants (so-called Category I NGT plants) that would be exempted from risk assessment, traceability and labelling because of their supposed “equivalence… to conventional plants”.

15.12.2023 |

NGT proposal: serious disquiet among big supermarkets and environmental groups in 3 major EU countries

It is not always the case that major environmental groups and big supermarket chains have the same message to law makers, but in a growing swell of disquiet among influential NGOs and big retailers – it is clear that the political rush to agree a controversial deregulation of New Genomic Techniques (or New GMOs) is of serious concern in many EU countries (in this case France, Germany and Austria).

15.12.2023 |

NGT deregulation proposal stumbles in Council, but not in Parliament's AGRI Committee

No qualified majority in AGRIFISH Council for Spanish presidency's proposal to widely deregulate NGTs

On 11 December 2023, the Spanish EU Council Presidency failed in its attempt to gain a sufficient majority of member states for a proposal to widely deregulate new GMOs (New Genomic Techniques or NGTs). According to a representative of the Spanish Presidency, they will now try to achieve a qualified majority during a meeting of EU ambassadors on 21 or 22 December. If no qualified majority for a common member states’ position is achieved under the Spanish term of office, the Belgian Presidency will take over from January 2024.

15.12.2023 |

Genetically modified crops aren't a solution to climate change, despite what the biotech industry says

The European Commission launched a proposal in July 2023 to deregulate a large number of plants manufactured using new genetic techniques.

Despite extraordinary attempts by the Spanish presidency to force a breakthrough, EU members have not yet reached a consensus on this plan. But if the proposal were to be approved, these plants would be treated the same as conventional plants, eliminating the need for safety tests and the labelling of genetically modified food products.

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.