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Online petition demands "no free pass for genetic engineering"

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Tomatoes hanging on a bush.
The Federation of the Organic Food Industry (BÖLW) is for clear labeling of genetically modified food. Symbol picture © Unsplash / Markus Spiske

The Federation of the Organic Food Industry (BÖLW) is collecting signatures against the EU Commission's plans to change the genetic engineering law in favor of new genetic engineering methods.

A Europe-wide alliance of associations - including the Bund Naturkost Naturwaren (BNN) and the organic growers' associations Bioland, Demeter and Biokreis - is calling for signatures on an online petition from the Federation of the Organic Food Industry (BÖLW) under the slogan "No free pass for genetic engineering in our food". With their signature, supporters are speaking out against the EU Commission's plans to allow products produced using new genetic engineering techniques such as the Crispr/Cas genetic scissors onto the market without risk assessment and labeling.

A genetically modified tomato could then no longer be distinguished from conventionally bred ones, reads an example on the BÖLW website. Tina Andres, chairwoman of BÖLW, informs: "Genetic engineering in the food chain must continue to be clearly labeled and traceable. Watering down EU legislation would be a step backwards for consumer choice."

Petition demands

  • New genetically modified organisms (GMOs) must be labeled so that consumers and companies in agriculture, breeding, trade and processing can identify and avoid them at all times.
  • New GMOs must also continue to be subjected to risk assessment and evaluation in accordance with the EU precautionary principle.
  • Traceability and detection procedures must remain an approval requirement for GMOs, as must retrievability. Whoever puts GMOs on the market must be liable for risks and consequential damage.
  • The EU, federal and state governments must promote more research into the environmental, biodiversity and health risks of new GMOs, their socio-economic impacts and the development of general detection methods.
  • In order to advance a diverse, climate-friendly and socially just ecological and peasant agriculture, research and further development of proven and effective GMO-free agroecological methods should be promoted.

(Source: BÖLW)

You can find the petition here (in German).



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