Munich/Berlin 7. November, 2012. A request by the NGOs Testbiotech and Gene-ethical Network (GeN) to initiate public discussion on research with high risk-related flu viruses has been rejected by the German Chancellery. Both organisations wanted Angela Merkel to speak out against the creation of new variations of the bird flu virus (H5N1) and endorse limited access to genetic data. Although the petition contained 250 signatures, the Chancellery refused acceptance and any direct dialogue on this matter.
In a new backgrounder, Testbiotech shows that the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) uses double standards in assessing scientific publications. According to an analysis presented today, the authority applies differing standards to assess risks of genetically engineered plants and EFSA´s findings appear to be influenced by assumptions.
In 2012 the European Patent Office (EPO) has granted three patents on genetically engineered chimpanzees as recent research carried out by No Patents On Life shows. The animals are intended for use in pharmaceutical research. A joint initiative of several organisations is preparing legal oppositions against these patents and urging their legal prohibition. They are warning that such patents can create commercial incentives to run more animal experiments with chimpanzees and calling for animals to be treated with more respect.
Munich/ Brussels. 17.10.2012 Now that Commissioner John Dalli has stepped back from his position for alleged fraud, Testbiotech is concerned that the EU Commission might use the coming weeks to push forward decisions before a new Commissioner has been appointed and properly introduced to his job. Testbiotech is asking for impending decisions to be halted and a reorganization of the Commissioner’s tasks.