Testbiotech warns about planned trade deal with the US
9 March 2020 / Testbiotech warned in a letter to the EU Commission against a planned trade agreement between the EU and the Trump administration. The deal might allow fast track approvals for genetically engineered plants. Such plans were reported by the media in Brussels. They would be contrary to the views of many experts in EU member states and independent scientists, who have repeatedly drawn attention to substantial insufficiencies and gaps in current EU risk assessment.
A new peer reviewed paper is published in the international Environmental Sciences Europe journal. The paper addresses specific environmental risks associated with genetically engineered (GE) plants that can spread and propagate in the environment. It is the first publication with a focus on on the risk assessment of so-called next generation effects. The review addresses unintended effects that were observed in spontaneous hybrid offspring but absent in the original plants.
Testbiotech has started legal proceedings in two cases against patents. The cases were initiated to clarify fundamental ethical questions in patent law, especially in regard to the protection of human dignity. A case was filed at the German Federal patent court (Bundespatentgericht) in a bid to nullify the German patent (DE102004062184), which claims uses of human embryos to obtain stem cells.
The results of an international research project will be presented today in Berlin. The RAGES project (Risk Assessment of genetically engineered organisms in the EU and Switzerland) started in 2016; it investigated in detail the approval processes for genetically engineered plants. The project is completely independent of the interests of the biotechnology industry. Results from the RAGES project show that risk assessors in the EU and Switzerland have failed, and are still failing, to deal with the risks to public health and the environment.