Transparency, regulatory approval, and traceability must apply to all GMOs, including products of newer methods such as gene editing
In a joint position paper, a broad alliance of 94 organisations from environmental protection, animal welfare, nature conservation, development policy, churches, consumer protection, agriculture, breeding, and food industry sectors has called on the German government to continue to regulate and label all current and future genetic engineering methods and their products as genetic engineering and genetically modified organisms.
In the run-up to the EU study on the regulation of new genetic engineering, expected on April 29/30, 2021, Florian Schöne, executive director of the environmental umbrella organisation Deutscher Naturschutzring (DNR), commented: "There is a lot at stake. If new genetic engineering is not regulated as it is now, the freedom to produce and choose GMO-free food is threatened. The overdue conversion to a sustainable, farmer-ecological agriculture would thus be massively endangered."
The organisations therefore demand that the precautionary principle continues to apply to new genetic engineering techniques and that freedom of choice remains protected through labelling and transparency, regulatory approval and traceability.
Regarding GMO-free food production, the position paper says: "Organic and conventional farms have a right to GMO-free production. Organic farming and conventional agriculture and food production without genetic engineering are global growth sectors. They offer farmers secure markets and prospects for their farms. GMO-free breeding, seed production, agriculture, food and trade depend on GMO labelling, transparency and traceability, and the coexistence and liability regimes that GMO law mandates."
A similar call was recently made in Austria to the government there.
BÖLW (German Association of Organic Farmers, Food Processors and Retailers): 94 associations and organisations call on federal government to regulate genetic engineering
Global 2000 (Austria): New genetic engineering should be regulated