New genetic engineering techniques - No solution for a sustainable future

Since the introduction of the first Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO) in the 1990s, their release in the environment has been strictly regulated in the European Union. All GMOs or derived products from GMOs require risk assessment, traceability, and clear labelling before being placed on the market. But in the past few years, several new genetic engineering techniques have been developed which can be used in plant breeding, and their legal status is now being raised as a question.

With the pending climate crisis and increasing biodiversity loss our agriculture systems are under a lot of pressure. Various stakeholders see these new genetic engineering techniques as a powerful tool to address the different problems agriculture is facing and are arguing that they should be excluded from the scope of the current European Union’s regulation on GMOs. This paper shows on the opposite that they are no solution for a sustainable future.

The Biodynamic Federation Demeter International sees a real danger in a potential deregulation of these new techniques. Not only because they represent a threat to human health and to our environment but also because they are so invasive that one cannot guarantee the production of seeds and food that are free from GMOs in the long run. Such drastic consequences would be especially problematic when it comes to organic and biodynamic farming. Therefore, the Federation strongly supports to keep the new genetic engineering techniques under the scope of the current GMO legislations.

 

The full version of the position paper is available below. 

 

For further information, please contact Clara Behr, Head of Policy and Public Relations at: clara.behr@demeter.net.

Brussels, 11.02.2021