Thank you!

We are more than 69,000 asking the European Commission to apply the EU’s GMO regulations to all GMOs, including new GMOs such as those produced with CRISPR/Cas.

Over 69,000 EU citizens sent their response to the European Commission about its plans to deregulate new GMOs (Genetically Modified Organisms). The EU public consultation closed on October 22, and the question now is: Will the EU Commission listen to its citizens’ voices and take their opinion into account? We’ll keep you posted on the next steps! Stay tune!

 

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Background Information

Why does the European Commission want to deregulate new GMOs?

For decades, farmers and citizens have been told that Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) are the solution to fighting the effects of climate change on agriculture. According to the agricultural biotechnology industry, modifying the genes of plants, animals, and other living organisms, will revolutionise the way agriculture is being done, and will allow farmers to continue growing crops given new traits to defend themselves against the pressures of climate change. A new generation of GMOs are being developed and risk making their way onto our plates. These “new GMOs” are presented by the industry as simply being modern plant breeding techniques but this is a gross misrepresentation. The European Commission is falling into the trap, and wants to make it easier for the agro-biotechnology industry to develop and commercialise new GMOs!  

Will deregulating new GMOs make the EU’s food system sustainable? 

In a report published in april 2020, the European Commission claims new GMOs could contribute to sustainability and should therefore be exempt from the EU’s GMO laws. In reality, seeds produced with new GM techniques like CRISPR/Cas are potentially unsafe for the environment and our health, and have no place in nature-friendly farming. Slow Food has a long-standing position against GMOs due to the risks they present to biodiversity, the threats they pose to small-scale farmers’ livelihoods, and to the fact that they are incompatible with an agricultural system based on agroecology. 

Will I be able to continue choosing food free of GMOs if they are deregulated? 

In 2018, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) ruled that new GMOs fall under the scope of the EU’s GMO legislation of 2001 following the precautionary principle. This means that they are subject to EU authorization, to risk assessment, GMO labelling and traceability to guarantee farmers, food producers and consumers the right to know whether a food product contains GM organisms or not. Yet now the European Commission wants to change the law to exclude some GMOs from the EU’s GMO regulations. This would mean that farmers, food producers, retailers and consumers can no longer reject GM products and opt for GM-free choices.

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If you want to find out more about GMOs, check out our dedicated page!

Also, if you have not done so yet, listen to our podcast “What’s Going On with New GMOs in Europe?”, and learn more about what they are, how they differ from old GMOs and what the EU latest developments are on the matter.