Biased questions indicate expected outcome
6 May 2022 / The EU Commission has started a consultation on the future regulation of New GE (new genomic techniques). However, it seems that the outcome has already been more or less decided: the Commission is planning to exempt many genetically engineered plants from a mandatory approval process through ‘deregulation’. This is apparent from the way in which many of the questions are formulated, and indicates that the aim of any future legislation will be to accelerate the introduction of the plants onto the market.
New letter reveals impact of trade interests and CETA
14 April 2022 / In a letter written in April 2022, the EU Commission states that CRISPR/Cas applications do not create any new or specific risks due to unintended effects. This letter came in response to a joint letter sent by the German Union of Peasant Farmers (AbL) and Testbiotech. In their letter, Testbiotech and the AbL argued that the statement made by the Commission is not based on scientific facts and is largely driven by trade interests, such as those included in the CETA free trade agreement (The Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement) between the EU and Canada.
No new applications for import into the EU in 2021
7 April 2022 / No new applications were registered in 2021 for the import of transgenic plants into the EU – the first time this has happened. The European Food Safety Authority EFSA was initially set up in 2004, and has since then received more than 150 applications for the market approval of transgenic plants. It appears that new applications were still being registered each year up until the end of 2020, although in noticeably fewer numbers.
Warning against the deregulation of genetically engineered organisms
24 March 2022 / A new document released today by Testbiotech and the Canadian Biotechnology Action Network (CBAN) discusses the basic differences between plant breeding and genetic engineering, and argues that these differences need to be considered in regulation.