German authorities biased in their assessment of new methods of genetic engineering

Testbiotech analysis of the decision-making process regarding CIBUS

25. November 2015

25 November 2015 / Today, the BUND Naturschutz, Umweltinstitut Munich and Testbiotech in a media conference are demanding a change in German politics regarding new methods of genetic engineering. They are urging the Christian Social Union party in Bavaria (CSU), which is part of the German coalition government, to take action in preventing plants produced by new methods of genetic engineering from being cultivated and used in food production without any prior risk assessment or labelling.

The organisations announce to hand over a petition with 67.000 signatures against the cultivation of the herbicide resistant oilseed rape produced by the US company CIBUS. The plants were produced using methods that are commonly known as genome editing. The German Federal Office of Consumer Protection and Food Safety (BVL) already has given the go-ahead to the cultivation of these plants, which were not classified as genetically engineered. This assessment was later contradicted by two legal dossiers. Now the EU Commission wants to decide upon these regulatory questions.

In this context, Testbiotech is today publishing a background on the decision-making process of the BVL and the underlying legal questions. Testbiotech is warning that the German Agricultural Minister Christian Schmidt, who is a member of the CSU, will push in Brussels for deregulation of the new technologies.

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