An EU Free from genetically
modified plants and animals

Benoît Biteau Eleonora Evi Claude Gruffat Martin Häusling Tilly Metz Michèle Rivasi Thomas Waitz Sarah Wiener
Opinion by Benoît Biteau & Eleonora Evi & Claude Gruffat & Martin Häusling & Tilly Metz & Michèle Rivasi & Thomas Waitz & Sarah Wiener

EU GMO rules are under attack

The European Commission is trying to weaken the EU’s regulations on genetically modified organisms (GMOs). It plans to exclude some GMOs from the regulations. Like this, agricultural corporations could market them without GMO authorisation, traceability or labelling.


We need agro-ecological and organic farming that is locally adapted, respects animal welfare and fosters biodiversity, and that allows farmers to produce healthy and nutritious food for all.

Genetic modification technology is a costly and potentially dangerous distraction from that.

That’s why we want to keep genetically modified crops and animals out of our fields and off our plates. We also want the feed given to animals all over the EU to be free from genetically modified (GM) crops.


Since the 1990s, the use of genetic modification (GM) technology in agriculture has turned out to be an expensive experiment that has increased the use of agrichemicals and driven concentration in the seed industry. Today, the technology is only used by a handful of countries and for a few commodity crops, such as soya, maize and cotton. The EU does not grow GM crops but it still imports large amounts of them for animal feed.

Global seed producers like Bayer and Corteva are lobbying the European Commission to exclude GM crops engineered with new GM technology called ‘gene editing’ from EU GMO regulations, after the EU’s highest court ruled in 2018 that they must be covered by these rules.

Unfortunately, it looks like the industry lobbying is starting to work, so we need more than ever to join forces and campaign on this!

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The EU should keep GM crops and animals out of our fields and stables. It should not import them from other countries either, turning a blind eye to unsustainable farming practices that it would not tolerate within its borders.

The EU could go a long way just by properly applying existing GMO regulations. Under these rules, GM products can only be authorised after a robust assessment of their potential impacts on the environment, animal and human health, and consideration of “other legitimate factors”. GM products must be traceable and labelled, to allow farmers, food producers and consumers to avoid them. Plus, national governments have the right to ban the cultivation of GM crops.

The European Court of Justice has confirmed that these rules also apply to products engineered with new GM techniques, such as CRISPR/Cas.

The Commission should:

  • Insist on a robust and complete risk assessment for all GM products;
  • Make sure that there are labels warning consumers about GM food and feed additives, also for meat, eggs and dairy produced from animals fed with GM feed.
  • Take into account the wider societal impacts, and especially the impacts outside the EU’s borders;
  • Only allow GM products on the EU market if a qualified majority of EU member states supports that decision.



Genetic engineering for sustainable food systems?


Gene editing cover

New GM technology has no place in sustainable farming


Gene Editing Myths and Reality


Rapeseed field

Find me if you can – Detecting gene-edited plants in the EU food chain


Gene Editing

Gene editing - the reality behind the hype



Stop the import of GM crops destroying nature

Press release

Strict rules must continue to apply to new forms of genetic engineering


beakers GMOs

Opinion poll on the labelling of GM crops


Genome edited plants

Genome edited plants in the EU