Great Britain seeks to deregulate genetic engineering
While the UK was still a member of the EU, the British government supported agricultural genetic engineering to the extent possible. After the completion of Brexit, it is now free to restructure its genetic engineering laws. And apparently it’s not losing any time in doing so.
EU Parliament remains critical of genetic engineering
The European Parliament continues to clearly reject genetically modified plants. With a majority of over two-thirds the delegates asked the EU Commission to reject an application for four maize/corn plants and one soy plant that had been repeatedly genetically modified to be approved for human and animal consumption.
Genetically modified linseed: 10,000 kilogrammes of seed may be contaminated
During a routine inspection of the linseed harvest of a Baden-Württemberg organic farmer authorities found the genetically modified linseed FP 967/Triffid as a contaminant. In 2009, Triffid led to numerous recalls throughout the EU, but has not been found in food since then.
New Internet presence
If you have been here before, you will notice it: We have completely redesigned our website. We hope you can now find your way around even better than before. Besides a new look and structure, there are some new and improved functions to discover. And we finally have a real mobile version. Click around a bit!
Producing eggs and poultry meat without soy feed
It is definitely possible to produce eggs and poultry meat without soy feed, and this can even have cost advantages. Dual-purpose chickens – where the unethical killing of day-old male chicks has been eliminated – can also be fed a soy-free diet with no loss of quality.
EU Commission unclear on new detection method, but no doubts as to genetic engineering of Cibus rapeseed
In a letter to VLOG lawyer Dr Georg Buchholz the EU Commission did not take a clear position on the question of whether the new detection method for the SU Canola rapeseed from Cibus satisfies the EU requirements. The Commission expresses no doubt, however, that it is genetically engineered.
Will Poland prohibit genetic engineering in feed?
The Polish government wants to prohibit genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in feed from 1 January 2021. Whether that will happen is not yet certain. The Polish feed industry is up in arms against the prohibition and the EU Commission might also oppose it.
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.
Careful monitoring of seed can ensure that it is “Gentechnik-frei”
In a total of 685 tests on seeds over the course of a year the competent bodies of the federal states examined seven different crop species for traces of genetic engineering. Residues of genetically engineered shares were found in only one maize/corn sample, in trace amounts. Thus, zero tolerance of genetically engineered seed is possible and enforceable.
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.