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An EU Free from genetically
modified plants and animals
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.
WHAT WE’RE UP AGAINST
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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WHAT WE’RE CALLING FOR
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.
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