More than 420 000 citizens oppose the deregulation of new GMOs

#IChooseGMOFree petition handed over to the European Commission

The Biodynamic Federation Demeter International, along with several other organisations, handed over the #IChooseGMOFree petition to representatives of the European Commission in front of the European Parliament in Brussels.

The petition to keep new GMOs strictly regulated and labelled, running from April to November 2022, received more than 420 000 signatures of concerned citizens about the potential deregulation of new GMOs (also called New Genomic Techniques, NGTs) at European level.

Supported by more than 50 organisations in 17 different countries across the EU, the petition requests EU decision makers to maintain the current legislative framework in place for all GMOs on the market, including new GMOs. The mandatory saftey checks, traceability and labelling are crucial to know what is on our fields and plates!

Get an impression of our public action!

Hand over to the EU Commission

The petition was handed over to the European Commission represented by M. Klaus Berend, Head of unit for pesticides and biocides at DG Santé, and Ms. Irene Sacristan Sanchez, Head of unit for biotechnology at DG Santé.

Several MEPs took part in the public action and expressed their support to the petition’s demands. Green MEP Martin Häusling spoke out against the deregulation of new GMOs: “I am an organic farmer since 1988, I know that farmers don’t need GMOs to make good products. Why do we need a deregulation of new GMOs?”

The Federation hopes that the citizens’ demands to maintain strong safety assessment, traceability and labelling for new GMOs will be properly addressed by the Commission in their upcoming proposal. We urge all EU decision makers to take a clear stand to protect farmers and consumers’ freedom to opt for a GMO-free agriculture, essential to biodynamic practices, but also to preserve the integrity of our resources, health, and environment. Instead of pursuing in the direction of the agrochemical industry, the Federation avocates for a structural reform of the agri-food system towards more sustainable, fair and social farming models. Organic and biodynamic farming pave the way in this direction by showing how it is possible.

Why now?

With a new legislative proposal expected to come out in June  this year, the European Commission plans to remove the mandatory safety checks, traceability and clear labelling for new GMOs. This would imply that genetically modified products using new genetic engineering techniques could enter the market without any prior safety checks and clear labelling jeopardizing our environment and freedom of choice.

We believe that more research must be carried out regarding NGTs to determine the socio-economic impacts for farmers and on the food system, as well as the impact on biodiversity and environmental health: new GMOs are still GMOs!

Because we deeply believe in the right to know what is in our fields and plate, the Federation will follow closely all future developments on the upcoming legislative proposal of the European Commission and continue to advocate for mandatory risk assessment, traceability and labelling for all GMOs.

Contact: Clara Behr, Head of Policy and Public Relations

Brussels, 07.02.2023

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