Problems regarding genetically engineered organisms still not solved
23 October 2016 / Testbiotech is warning that the existing text of CETA and the additional written declarations are so far not sufficient to safeguard freedom of choice or the precautionary principle. As far as it is known, there is still no mandatory labelling or comprehensive risk assessment for genetically engineered organisms foreseen in the agreement that would meet current EU standards. CETA might be signed by EU and Canada on 27 October 2016.
EU standards allow to take measures to safeguard agriculture and food production so that it is free of genetically engineered organisms. These measures also protect seeds from contamination and provide extensive transparency for consumers. Furthermore, all genetically engineered organisms produced by methods of genetic engineering have to undergo a process of risk assessment and authorisation. The standards set out in CETA do not comply with these current regulations.
In addition, labelling of products derived from cloned animals or of products derived from animals fed with genetically engineered plants, would hardly be possible under the CETA regime. Labelling of such products is demanded by the EU Parliament, the German Bundestag and is also a requirement in the coalition treaty of current German government. It is evident in several analyses, one of which was undertaken specifically for the German Bundestag by their scientific service, that mandatory labelling is not likely to be allowed under CETA. To the best of Testbiotech’s knowledge, the additional written statements published so far are not sufficient to solve this problem.