Today, members of the Environment Committee (ENVI) of the European Parliament removed the new generation of genetically modified organisms (new GMOs, or so-called “New Genomic Techniques” or NGT) from any type of safety checks, labelling requirements and liability processes.
The vote’s outcome shows EU conservative and most liberal parliamentarians’ disregard for the right of consumers and farmers to know what they eat and grow in their fields. It also raises the alarm about the undue influence of big agribusiness like Bayer, which spends 6 million euros lobbying per year, seeking to expand their control over the food sector.
Mute Schimpf, food campaigner at Friends of the Earth Europe said:
Today’s outcome is a slap in the face for farmers and consumers. The Environment Committee’s position carelessly ignores basic citizens’ rights and nature protection principles to bow to industry lobbies, but there is still time to act.
We urge all EU parliamentarians to put the final nail in the coffin of this absurd deregulation proposal in the plenary vote.
Next steps: In addition to the European Parliament’s plenary vote on the legislative proposal in February, Europe’s agriculture ministers need to agree and vote on their own position. So far, they have raised major concerns over possible field contamination and a flood of patents on seeds.