Will it be necessary to rerun the EU genetic engineering survey?

- In an open letter, 40 European organisations strongly criticise the EU Commission's consultation procedure on new genetic engineering and demand for it to to be partly rerun.

EU Health Commissioner Stella Kyriakides, Photo: European Union / EC - Audiovisual Service 2021

In addition to the public and generally accessible consultation from May to July, the EU Commission had another "targeted consultation" on the topic carried out in the summer of 2022, which was directed at only around 400 selected organisations across Europe. Which ones these were and how they were selected is not yet publicly known.

Obscure exclusive survey

The questions in this obscure exclusive survey were formulated in a similarly one-sided and biased way as in the public consultation before. Here the EU Commission's clear deregulatory intentions became even more apparent in concrete political "scenarios". The scheme of the survey made it almost impossible to respond outside the predefined deregulation logic.

Participation in biased survey refused

Therefore, 40 associations and organisations from conventional and organic agriculture and the food industry, environmental protection and science, among others, including ENGA, ARGE Gentechnik-frei, IFOAM, BÖLW, Verbraucherzentrale, Greenpeace and Friends of the Earth, have now written to EU Health Commissioner Stella Kyriakides demanding at least a partial repetition of the consultation process. Most of them have refused to participate in the "targeted consultation" in this form from the outset or have retracted their submission.

Mix-up of sustainability and risk

In addition, the 40 organisations accuse the EU Commission of basing the consultation on opinions and speculation. Sustainability assessment and risk assessment are improperly mixed up. Moreover, many scientific advisors have conflicts of interest, as recently investigated and reported by the Green Group in the European Parliament.

Intransparent deregulation would harm the EU Commission itself

"The EU Commission must take this unanimous and insistent, broad-based objection from economy, science, environmental and consumer protection seriously. It needs a truly open consultation on this important issue. A non-transparent deregulation process ultimately harms everyone, not least the reputation of the Commission itself," comments VLOG Managing Director Alexander Hissting.

Open letter: European Commission’s biased road to deregulation of new GMOs (4 October 2022)

Open letter: Fatal errors in EU consultation on new GMOs in agriculture (News from Global 2000) (in German)

Behind the smokescreen: Vested interests of EU scientists lobbying for GMO deregulation (Green Group in the European Parliament)

ZEIT Online: Too close to the seed lobby? (in German)

AbL assesses explosive genetic engineering deregulation plans of the EU Commission (in German)

Biased questions: EU consultation launched on new genetic engineering