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"Future commission“ supports regulation of new genetic engineering

- The Commission for the Future of Agriculture ("Zukunftskommission Landwirtschaft" - ZKL) emphasizes the great importance of GMO-free production in Germany and freedom of choice for consumers and calls for the regulation of new genetic engineering methods such as CRISPR, including risk assessment and approval, taking into account the precautionary principle.

On 6 July 2021, the Commission presented its comprehensive report "The Future of Agriculture. A task for society as a whole" to German Chancellor Angela Merkel on whose behalf the panel of 31 representatives from the fields of science, (agricultural) industry, consumer, animal and environmental protection had drawn it up over a period of ten months.

"We are pleased that the Commission on the Future of Agriculture has clearly recognized and identified the importance of the ‘Ohne Gentechnik’ [Non GMO] sector and freedom of choice. In doing so, it clearly rejects the deregulation efforts that are evident in the EU Commission's report and among some politicians. The current and the future German government must take these recommendations to heart. Consumer trust and the entire ‘Ohne Gentechnik’ and organic sector would be massively endangered if it were no longer possible to clearly identify what is and what is not genetic engineering," comments VLOG Managing Director Alexander Hissting.

SPD (Social Democratic) Party Environment Minister Svenja Schulze, Green Party Members of Parliament Renate Künast and Harald Ebner, and several environmental and nature conservation associations also welcomed the report and in particular its call for clear regulation of new genetic engineering processes.

The genetic engineering section in the report of the Commission on the Future of Agriculture in the wording (p. 138):

"With regard to direct changes in the genetic material, a differentiated evaluation of the methods is required based on the change made and the possible effects of the methods used. The regulation also of new genetic engineering methods such as CRISPR/Cas, including risk assessment and approval, taking into account the precautionary principle, must be secured in this context. In addition, it must be ensured that the standards existing in the EU apply to the same extent to imports from third countries. In view of the great importance of GMO-free production in Germany, it is also important that developments in the breeding sector do not restrict the freedom of choice of farmers and consumers."

ZKL report "The Future of Agriculture. A task for society as a whole" (July 2021)

Article of “Infodienst Gentechnik” with many more links on the topic