“Traffic Light Coalition” agreement and assignment of ministries: Green Light for "Ohne Gentechnik"

- The words "genetic engineering" do not appear in the new German “Traffic Light Coalition” agreement between the Social Democrats (SPD), the Greens Party (Bündnis 90/Die Grünen) and the Liberals (FDP). However, commitments to transparency, risk and detection research and the designated assignment of the agricultural, environmental and economic ministries are a good political omen for the "Ohne Gentechnik" [Non-GMO] sector.

Alexander Hissting, Managing Director of the German Association for Food without Genetic Engineering (VLOG), comments, "The coalition agreement reveals how difficult it is and will remain to form a common line between the positions of the SPD and the Greens on the one hand, which are critical of genetic engineering, and the pro-GMO course of the FDP on the other. This makes the statements on transparency, risk and detection research all the more important.

“There can only be genuine transparency if products from new genetic engineering processes also remain regulated as GM and are labeled accordingly. So, even with these few words, the Traffic Light government has committed itself to stopping the EU Commission's GM deregulation plans. The fact that Cem Özdemir and Steffi Lemke will hold the two key Departments of Agriculture and Environment, respectively, and that Robert Habeck will head the Ministry for Economic Affairs, makes us optimistic that the political traffic lights will be set on green for "Ohne Gentechnik" from now on. The Greens' party and election agenda are very explicit on this topic."

Overall, the agricultural chapter of the coalition agreement is characterized by a distinct Green signature. Even the goal of greatly expanding organic farming can only be achieved if it is not torpedoed by a deregulation of genetic engineering. This is also ruled out in the case of organic farming.

In order to be able to guarantee freedom from genetic engineering in the long term, it is also essential to strengthen detection research, as agreed in the coalition agreement. Only if new genetic engineering can be reliably ruled out, the "Ohne Gentechnik" label can deliver what it promises.

"We expect the new German government to further develop promising approaches such as the detection method for 'genome editing' canola, which VLOG helped to fund, and finally bring them to fruition instead of putting the brakes on them, as the previous government and its authorities have done. We will closely accompany the new coalition in this process and remind them, if necessary," Alexander Hissting adds.

Download Traffic Light coalition agreement (in German)


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