Clandestine genetic engineering in Easter eggs?

- Eggs from hens that come from genetically modified breeding hens should be labelled accordingly. This is the opinion of 85 percent of respondents in a representative survey commissioned in Germany by VLOG shortly before Easter. 70 percent would not buy such GM eggs.

EU authority considers labelling and risk assessment unnecessary

The background to the survey are plans of an enterprise that wants to market GM breeding hens that have been genetically modified via CRISPR/Cas in such a way that no male offspring will hatch. They are supposed to perish already in the egg due to an inherited lethal gene. The female offspring, on the other hand, allegedly develop normally and are to be used as laying hens. According to an internal letter, an authority of the EU Commission considers neither approval procedures nor GMO labelling for these eggs and laying hens to be necessary.

The opinion research company Civey has just interviewed 2,500 people in Germany on behalf of Verband Lebensmittel Ohne Gentechnik (VLOG) e.V. whether they would buy such eggs and whether they think they should be labelled.

Concealed genetic engineering in Easter eggs does not appeal to consumers

VLOG Managing Director Alexander Hissting comments on the survey results, "Hiding eggs is a popular Easter tradition. Hiding genetic engineering in eggs, on the other hand, is not well received at all. The survey shows once again: People want to know how their food is produced. If such a process should one day be officially approved after a thorough risk assessment, the use of genetic engineering would have to be labelled transparently on the end products. However, the vast consumer majority would not buy such CRISPR GM eggs.

“It is worrying how the EU authority blindly follows the manufacturer's affirmations. This is contrary to GM legislation, consumer expectations and common sense. If laying hens and eggs come directly from a genetically modified animal, they are, of course, also GM products.

Rotten foretaste of softened EU GMO regulations

“The GM eggs give a rotten foretaste of current plans of the EU Commission to weaken the laws for the approval and labelling of GM food. If the Commission gets its way, concealed genetic engineering would become the norm. No one would know what is in their food any more. We expect German Agricultural Minister Cem Özdemir to take a firm stand in Brussels against this planned consumer deception."

Already around 70 percent of eggs in Germany are produced without GM feed. In Germany, "Ohne Gentechnik" eggs in excess of one billion euros are sold every year . This success would be seriously jeopardized if the EU stuck to its assessment and CRISPR GM eggs entered the market untested and unlabelled.

Civey surveyed 2,500 people between 29 and 30 March 2022 on behalf of VLOG. The results are representative of German citizens aged 18 and over. The statistical error of the overall results is between 3.4 and 3.5 percent.

CRISPR GM eggs without risk assessment and labelling?