Overfishing

Landbrugs- og fødevareministre skal stoppe med at spilde tid på at skubbe nye GMO'er frem Reaktioner på EU's ministerråd for landbrug og fiskeri

27. maj 2021 · Kl. 16:20 Pressemeddelelse

Bruxelles, den 27. maj 2021

I de første drøftelser mellem EU's landbrugs- og fødevareministre om den lovgivningsmæssige fremtid for en ny generation af GMO'er, udtaler Mute Schimpf, fødevare- og landbrugskampagner hos Friends of the Earth Europe:

”Landbrugsministre og resten af ​​EU er nødt til at stoppe med at spilde tid og ressourcer på at finde smuthuller til at skubbe nye, uprøvede GMO'er ud på vores marker og tallerkner - uden nogen form for regulering eller sikkerhedsprotokoller. Den sidste ting, vi har brug for i dag, er en række patenterede afgrøder designet til at understøtte det industrielle landbrugssystem, som EU's beslutningstagere jo skal arbejde på at afvikle. I stedet for at lægge flere penge i hænderne på bioteknologibranchen er vi nødt til hurtigt at investere i mindre landbrug og agroøkologi. ”

Europæiske landbrugsministre mødtes i dag for at drøfte fremtiden for en ny generation af genetisk modificerede organismer (GMO'er). Omdrejningspunktet er beslutninger om, hvorvidt 'nye' GMO'er skal forblive under lovgivninger, der sikrer sikkerhedskontrol og mærkning, før de tillades på EU-markedet. [1]

Holdningerne fra de forskellige ministre var delte under mødet:

  • Belgien og Luxembourg var bekymrede over at undtage / deregulere GMO-metoder fra sikkerhedsbestemmelser.
  • Danmark og Holland støttede forslag om at undtage nogle typer af de nye GMO-metoder.
  • Den irske landbrugsminister opfordrede til at vurdere langsigtede fordele og risici men understregede, at forbrugernes behov for at kunne tage velinformerede beslutninger er vigtig.
  • Tysklands landbrugsminister hilste undersøgelsen velkommen, men understregede behovet for at opretholde forsigtighedsprincippet.
  • Den franske minister støttede undtagelser fra sikkerhedskontrol, men opfordrede samtidig til at sikre, at mere af herbicidresistente afgrøder ikke kan dyrkes.

En afgørelse fra 2018 fra EU-Domstolen fremviste ellers, at nye GMO'er ikke bør undtages fra EU's sikkerheds- og mærkningsregler, og man understregede dengang de potentielle risici, som nye GMO'er udgør: “might prove to be similar to those that result from the production and release of a GMO through transgenesis.” [2]

Friends of Friends Europe og NOAH opfordrer Europa-Kommissionen, Ministerrådet og Europaparlamentet til at opretholde EU-Domstolens afgørelse. Dette ville være den mest effektive måde at sikre, at kun sikre afgrøder kan dyrkes i EU, og at forbrugerne opretholder deres ret til at tage velinformerede beslutninger om de ønsker at fravælge GMO-mad, og at vi i stedet for fremmer ægte innovative, miljøvenlige fødevaresystemer. [3]

I Danmark må Fødevareministeren gerne forklare forbrugerne, hvordan han ser det økologiske landbrug muligt i Danmark, hvis nogle af de nye GMO'er bliver dereguleret. Det er endnu uvist hvordan Rasmus Prehn stiller sig overfor dette, samt hvordan han vil imødegå de forbrugere, der ønsker at spise GMO-fri mad. I første omgang handler det om gmo-anvendelse i planteorganismer.

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For yderligere information, kontakt venligst:

Mute Schimpf, food and farming campaigner i Friends of the Earth Europe: mute.schimpf@foeeurope.org 

Eller June Rebekka Bresson i NOAH - Projekt- og researchmedarbejder i Friends of the Earth Denmark june@noah.dk 

 

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Referencer:

[1] On the agenda of was a study released by the European Commission in April which suggests that there are "strong indications that the current 2001 GMO legislation is not fit for purpose for some NGTs and their products*", and proposes a new consultation process to rewrite the laws.

AGRIFISH Council minutes https://www.consilium.europa.eu/media/49894/st09022-en21.pdf

Friends of the Earth Europe has been heavily critical of the Commission study, which is biased towards the biotech industry following its sustained campaign to win exemptions from safety regulations for new GMOs. The study makes unsubstantiated claims about the benefits of the new techniques based only on products in the early stages of research. Furthermore, the Commission did not follow its own guidelines in the preparation of the report.

European Commission: EC study on new genomic techniques: https://ec.europa.eu/food/plant/gmo/modern_biotech/new-genomic-techniques_en

What’s in the study?: The study was written in-house by the biotechnology department of the Commission and is based on: 1) Member State inputs, 2) a stakeholder consultation, 3) an opinion of the European Group on Ethics in Science and New Technologies, 4) an opinion of the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), and 5) two reports of the Joint Research Centre.

Commissioned by the Council: At the end of 2019, Member States requested a study on practical questions of the implementation from the ruling. (Council Decision (EU) 2019/1904 on the study on new genomic techniques. The Council also requested from the EU Commission to inform about measures as a follow-up of the study or some policy options.

Report: Green light for new GMOs? Friends of the Earth Europe analysis of the European Commission’s stakeholder consultation: https://friendsoftheearth.eu/press-release/green-light-for-new-gmos 

Our assessment is that the study is biased in a number of its conclusions:

  • Non-industry stakeholders ignored: At crucial points, Member State and other stakeholder views have not been included in the conclusions of the European Commission study on new genomic techniques. 
  • Divergence with European Court of Justice: The health branch of the EU Commission concludes that the current GMO legislation is not fit for purpose. The ECJ ruling, however, found that the framework can be applied to products of new GM techniques developed since the EU Directive was adopted. The Court’s criteria are clear and applicable to new GMOs. The Court’s ruling is shows the framework is fit for purpose, including to cater forscientific and technical progress.
  • Unsubstantiated sustainability claims: DG Sante concludes that GM crops engineered with new GM techniques can serve sustainability purposes and help to achieve objectives in the Farm to Fork Strategy, e.g. 50 percent pesticide reduction. However, there is practically no information in the study to back this up.  

Friends of the Earth Europe is calling on agriculture and environment ministers to ensure that new GMOs can not be marketed without comprehensive safety checks, and to ensure labelling to give farmers and consumers the right to choose. 

See also Corporate Europe Observatory’s work exposing lobby tactics to deregulate GMOs – Report: Derailing EU rules on GMOs https://corporateeurope.org/en/2021/03/derailing-eu-rules-new-gmos

Biotech industry lobbying: Biotech companies want less regulation for GMOs and have sought to portray new GMO techniques such as gene editing and CRISPR-Cas as no different from traditional plant breeding methods – even though the techniques involve editing plant DNA, and in spite of the European Court of Justice’s ruling affirming this. The aim of their campaign is to prevent new GMOs from being labelled, and ensuring they can be grown and imported without any safety checks.

[2] The Court ruling: in 2018 the European Court of Justice ruled that existing EU GMO safety law applies to the new generation of GMOs. The court said that the new GMOs should not be excluded from EU safety and labelling rules and underlined that the potential risks posed by new GMOs: “might prove to be similar to those that result from the production and release of a GMO through transgenesis.” Under the current law, the protection of human health and the environment states that attention must be given to controlling risks from the deliberate release of GMOs.  (Ruling of the European Court of Justice, 25 July 2018, Case C-528/16 https://curia.europa.eu/jcms/upload/docs/application/pdf/2018-07/cp180111en.pdf)

The ruling means that the new generation of GM crops and seeds should go through safety checks, an authorisation process, and be labelled before they can be placed on the market.

[3] https://friendsoftheearth.eu/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/Generation-Unknown-Danish.pdf 

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