Today, the European Parliament adopted in a tight vote the Commission’s proposal to widely deregulate the new generation of genetically modified organisms (new GMOs, or so-called “New Genomic Techniques” or NGT). A majority of parliamentarians voted to remove new GMOs from safety checks and liability processes, putting nature at risk with the release of untested genetically modified plants into European fields.
The European Parliament approved a legislative proposal that allows corporations to market new GMOs without any type of safety checks for impacts on human health and the environment. It also removes corporations selling new GMOs and farmers growing them from liability if any harm occurs.
Mute Schimpf, food campaigner at Friends of the Earth Europe said:
“Has the majority of MEPs completely forgotten that their duty lies in protecting their constituents’ rights, not gifting the industry and its lobbies over and over again?
The Parliament’s decision to approve the wide deregulation of new GMOs comes as yet another heavy blow for farmers across Europe and for the environment, after they recently killed the pesticide regulation and watered down the nature restoration law.”
Friends of the Earth Europe acknowledges the Parliament’s attempt to limit patents on new GMOs, but the proposal still exposes farmers and breeders to infringement lawsuits by some of the biggest agribusiness corporations like Corteva and Bayer.
On the positive side, the Parliament listened to many farmers and consumers’ concerns and improved the Commission’s proposal by introducing a new GMO label and transparency requirements along the whole food chain.
Next steps: Member States diplomats are meeting today to discuss the upcoming EU Council’s position on the file. Friends of the Earth Europe calls on EU ministers to maintain basic safety checks, uphold farmers’ and consumers’ right to transparency and information, and protect their freedom to choose what they grow, buy and eat.