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New GMOs: EU Commission must make significant improvements
In its publication on the future handling of new genetic engineering methods, the EU Commission gives broad space to the positions of promoters of genetic engineering, but wants to stick to safety for consumers and the environment as guiding principles. Safety, protection of "Ohne Gentechnik" and organic farming as well as GMO labelling are explicitly mentioned, but fall far too short in the conclusions.
"Ohne Gentechnik" grows - preserve transparency!
In 2020, consumers in Germany spent around 12.6 billion euros on products with the "Ohne GenTechnik" (Non GMO) label, an increase of more than 12 percent. The market share in food is thus around 5.4 percent. To secure this success in the long term, new GMOs must also remain regulated as GMOs. After the publication of the EU study on the topic next week, the debate is likely to gain steam.
Expert panel in the "Bundestag" - New GMOs: Use detection methods, ensure GMO free food and feed!
„New GMOs" are also GMOs, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) clarified in 2018. In order to ensure that no illegal GMO-plants enter our food and feed it is necessary to use reliable detection methods. This was the topic of an expert panel with representatives of authorities and other experts in the German Parliament on 22 Feb 2021.
Greens committed to ‘Ohne Gentechnik’
In their new party manifesto, the Greens support the current EU GMO regulation with risk assessment of GM products prior to market approval. VLOG welcomes the fact that the Greens continue to commit to GMO-free agriculture, the precautionary principle, freedom of choice, transparency and mandatory labeling for GMO foods.
CRISPR wheat in the pipeline: Genetic engineering must remain recognisable
An alliance of plant breeding businesses has announced the development of a wheat line using CRISPR genetic engineering, which is said to be less sensitive to fungal attack. Risk assessment and labelling as genetic engineering should be obvious reactions. Genetic engineering must remain recognisable as such.
First open source detection test for a gene-edited GM crop
Together with Greenpeace, other organisations, GMO-free associations and the SPAR Austria commercial chain, Verband Lebensmittel ohne GenTechnik e.V. (VLOG) has published the world’s first open source detection method for a plant with a genome modified using the “new” genetic engineering process.
Two years since the ECJ ruling: More consumer protection instead of more genetic engineering!
On 25 July 2020 it will be two years since the ruling by the European Court of Justice (ECJ) on new genetic engineering methods. In 2018 Europe’s highest judges made it clear: Even new genetic engineering is genetic engineering and is subject to the same rules on risk assessment, approval proceedings and labelling obligations. Agriculture Minister Julia Klöckner should now use Germany’s EU Council presidency for the consistent implementation of the ruling: for more consumer protection instead of more genetic engineering.
Klöckner wants to “dare try new genetic engineering”
In a guest article in the daily Tagesspiegel, Agriculture Minister Julia Klöckner is demanding a partial deregulation of genetically engineered plants. “For consumers there are no two types of genetic engineering,” comments VLOG Managing Director Alexander Hissting. “People want to know what’s in their food. If genetic engineering in food is concealed through the lack of labelling, that destroys trust in trade, the food sector and politics.” In their coalition agreement two years ago the CDU and the SPD had still announced “nationwide prohibitions on cultivation with genetic engineering”.
GMO-contaminated maize/corn seeds sold and grown
GMO-contaminated maize/corn seeds from a dealer in Lower Saxony were sown in several German federal states. German authorities were first made aware of the case by Hungarian inspectors. “There is obviously some catching up to do in the inspection system”, commented VLOG Managing Director, Alexander Hissting. “The ‘Ohne Gentechnik’ food industry relies on dependable protection from GMOs”.
Greens clearly in favour of regulating genetic engineering
The Green Fractions in the German and the European Parliament have issued position papers in which they come out clearly against any deregulation of new genetic engineering methods. That’s good news for consumers, the food industry and the booming German and European ‘Ohne Gentechnik’ business sector.
The EU’s ‘Farm to Fork’ strategy: Genetic engineering is not sustainable
The EU Commission’s new ‘Farm to Fork’ strategy includes addressing a possible role for ‘new innovative techniques’ such as biotechnology to strengthen sustainability and reduce pesticides. It also mentions an ongoing study by the Commission that will supposedly examine the potential of ‘new genomic techniques’ to improve sustainability in the food supply.
“Ohne GenTechnik” sales continue to grow
Producers and processors generated about EUR 8.8 billion in sales of goods with the “Ohne GenTechnik” seal in 2019. End customers spent about EUR 11.3 billion for these products in stores. This is a 15 percent increase over 2018. In 2020, consumer spending is likely to rise to at least EUR 11.8 billion.