Free Trade: Opening the door to genetic engineering in agriculture and food production

New analysis of CETA

2 May 2016 / A newly published report shows that the introduction of the free trade agreements between EU and Canada (CETA) and the US (TTIP) will almost certainly lead to lower EU standards in protection of consumers and the environment. Contrary to some public statements that have been made, both the German government and the EU Commission are aware of these consequences. The report written by Christoph Then was published by Greenpeace Germany.

Whilst on the one hand the EU Commission has, to some extent, been trying to defend its standards in the market authorisation and labelling of genetically engineered plants within a former World Trade Organisation (WTO) dispute settlement, the free trade agreement is bringing about a major change. The EU now wants to introduce legally binding mechanisms to harmonise its standards with US and Canada. As a result, genetically engineered organisms could be commercialised and released in the EU without risk assessment and labelling.

Basic elements of the EU regulatory framework such as the precautionary principle, protection of agriculture from contamination with genetically engineered organisms and enabling consumer choice are not represented welll in the text of CETA. Instead, the treaty is mostly designed to serve the interests of the biotech-industry.

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