The press release is available in pdf

 

The European Court of Justice has announced that it will decide on the legal status of GMOs from new bio-technologies on 25th July. Whatever its judgement, it is the European Union that will have to decide how the decision is to be applied.

 

Every day, the biotechnology industry invents new terms that create a thick cloud of smoke to hide its genetic manipulations. For example, it claims to only resort to simple “improvements” acquired through traditional mutagenesis, which is a technique that produces unregulated GMOs. Certainly, a number of new genetic engineering techniques require a mutagenesis phase. However, in addition to mutagenesis, they all involve other techniques that unquestionably produce regulated GMOs. These techniques include the multiplication of plant cells isolated in vitro in laboratories before they are transformed into new plants or new animals, or the introduction in laboratories of biological material via transgenesis to animal or plant cells to cause genetic modifications… The European regulation does not exempt these other techniques and considers them to produce GMOs.

 

These new GMOs are all patented, which is proof that the techniques used do not “do the same as nature” as the biotech industry claims. Copying nature is not a patentable invention. Like transgenesis, all of these techniques cause numerous unintentional artificial genetic modifications that can lead to unforeseeable harm to agriculture, health and the environment. This is why it is essential that new GMOs are all evaluated and, if they are put on the market, labelled and tracked.

 

ECVC calls on the European Union to not be taken in by the biotech industry’s manipulation of technical language and to require detailed information on all breeding, selection and multiplication techniques used prior to plants, animals and other organisms receiving market authorisation. Putting forth a simple statement that these are not GMOs would lead to the widespread deception of small-scale farmers, consumers and citizens. Small-scale farmers have the right to know, and to refuse or accept, which plants we want them to grow, and which animals we want them to rear. Consumers have the right to know what we want to make them eat and citizens have the right to know what impacts their environment. “Business secrecy” isn’t justified when it comes to protecting agricultural and food production, health and the environment.

 

Contacts:

  • Guy Kastler – ECVC Seed Group: +33 603945721 (FR)
  • Antonio Onorati – ECVC Coordinating Committee : +39 3408219456 (IT, EN, ES, FR)