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Analysis : European Commission proposal on new GMOs, towards the appropriation of all seeds by the patents of a few multinationals

18 July 2023

On 5 July, the European Commission presented its proposal for a new legislative framework for new techniques of genetic modification, which aims to exclude GMOs obtained through directed mutagenesis and cisgenesis most of them from risk assessment, labelling, traceability and control obligations.

It also proposes to prohibit Member States from restricting their marketing and cultivation, whereas 17 European countries currently ban the cultivation of GMOs partially or completely.

This proposal would not only breach the precautionary principle, remove all health and environmental assessments and mislead consumers who do not want GMOs, but would above all allow all seeds grown in the European Union to be claimed by the patents of a few multinational seed companies.

ECVC has analysed the impact of this deregulation proposal on the application of European patent law, and denounces its disastrous consequences: biopiracy, privatisation of all seeds, monopolistic concentration of the seed market, violation of farmers' rights on seeds, destruction of the guaranteed GM-free and organic farming sector.

ECVC’s analysis responds to the shortcomings of the impact assessment carried out by DG SANTE, which explicitly excluded the patent issue, whereas the Commission is now proposing, in response to the criticism it received, to carry out a study on patents in... 2026

ECVC calls on MEPs and Member States to reject this unacceptable proposal, which amounts to authorising the dissemination of these new patented GMOs without any traceability, without any guarantees for farmers, and without any visibility regarding patent-related impacts.

Our analysis is available in FR-EN-ES-DE.

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