The European Commission has “uncritically followed” the GMO industry’s “wish list” for deregulation of new GMO products, it is claimed.
On Monday, over 50 NGOs and farming organisations have shared with the European Commission their critical response to DG SANTE’s working document on ‘new genomic techniques’ (published in April 2021).
In the report, civil society points to numerous flaws in the Commission’s work.
DG SANTE’s publication described the EU’s genetically modified organism (GMO) regulations as “not fit for purpose”. Its suggestions could lead to a de facto deregulation of a many genome editing applications, despite serious biosafety and environmental concerns. Such deregulation is in stark conflict with the EU Green Deal, and could mean that there would be no more safety checks, GMO labelling for the consumer and loss of transparency for the whole food and farming sector.
The NGOs conclude that the Commission uncritically follows the GMO industry’s “wish list” for deregulation of new GMO products. Since corporations like Bayer, BASF, Syngenta and Corteva stand to loose substantial profits from their pesticide business, genome edited seeds (deregulated, but patented) will have to make up for these possible losses.
The NGO’s critique on the Commission working document includes for example:
- The Commission’s consultation was strongly biased in favour of industry actors
- The Commission relied too much on the unverifiable claims of the industry that new GMOs would help facing the climate crisis
- The Commission ignored a large body of scientific evidence and analysis pointing to the risks of new GM techniques
- The Commission misleadingly downplays the dominance of herbicide tolerance in new GM crops
- The Commission makes dubious claims that new GMOs cannot be detected