In its new “Farm to Fork” strategy, the European Commission sees the potential of “new genomic technologies” or new genetic engineering technologies to increase sustainability and reduce pesticides.
This stance was denounced by the German Association for Food without Genetic Engineering (VLOG). Alexander Hissting, managing director of VLOG said: “Genetic engineering is not sustainable. On the contrary, Europe does not need genetic engineering, neither old nor ‘new genomic technologies.’ Europe’s consumers and farmers do not want genetic engineering on their plates and fields. If the Commission is serious about today’s transparency and consumer information, it must above all ensure that labeling is also ensured for new genetic engineering technologies. Genetic engineering as the alleged solution to the climate crisis, more sustainability and fewer pesticides is an old but unsubstantiated promise of salvation by those who want to sell genetically modified plants. Already with the old genetic engineering these promises were not kept.
“Basically, the goals of the “Farm to Fork” strategy are correct. Innovations are of course also important, but they should be done primarily with real pesticide alternatives, diversity, regionalization, crop rotation, good professional practice, and smart digitization instead of genetic engineering.”
Heike Moldenhauer, EU policy advisor for VLOG, adds: “The agrochemical lobby has done a great job when the EU Commission mentions biotechnology as the only specific technology and, on top of that, the mandate of the EU genetic engineering study reinterprets that it is supposed to investigate the potential of new genetic engineering for more sustainability or even pesticide reduction. In fact, this study is about how to implement the 2018 European Court of Justice ruling, which found that new genetic engineering is the same as ‘old’ genetic engineering and is subject to the same rules.
“Instead of exploring any potential, the Commission must finally have detection methods developed for products based on new genetic engineering methods. This is the only way to guarantee consumer protection and freedom of choice through the labeling and traceability of genetically modified organisms.”
Source: VLOG (Association for Food without Genetic Engineering)