One year ago, on 25 July 2018, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) classified new genetic engineering methods such as CRIPR / Cas and the products derived from them as genetic engineering. As a result, they are subject to an authorization procedure with a risk assessment before they reach the market. Approved genetically modified organisms (GMOs) must be detectable and traceable, and they must be labeled. Only this creates transparency and freedom of choice for farmers, the food and feed industry, the food trade and consumers.
That is why the Association for Non-Genetic Engineering (VLOG) and the companies active in GMO-free agriculture and food industry have welcomed the decision of the ECJ. However, it subsequently became apparent that the European Commission did not make much of the decision. Instead, she sent out signals that she wanted to change EU genetic engineering law and exclude New Genetic Engineering, VLOG reports. On the anniversary of the ECJ decision, the VLOG therefore calls on the new EU Commission to implement the verdict swiftly and not to dilute it. In particular, the EU Commission must promote research into detection methods of new GMOs and provide for import controls on agricultural goods from countries where new GMOs are grown. In addition, a worldwide transparency register must be set up in which all old as well as new genetically modified organisms should be entered.
"Consumers do not want genetic engineering in food, the food industry wants no processing and the food trade does not want to sell them. The basis for this is the EU genetic engineering law. All efforts to remove the new genetic engineering from the current legislation, we reject, "says Alexander Hissting, VLOG Managing Director. He warns the Commission also before the loss of credibility, which was accompanied by an amendment to the Genetic Engineering Law: "No one will be able to convey to a GMO-critical public that genetic engineering, which has been classified by the European Supreme Court as genetic engineering, should suddenly no longer be due to a change in legislation."