Testbiotech has uncovered serious conflicts of interest within EU institutions and German authorities. Therefore, in 2011, 2012 Testbiotech appealed to the EU Ombudsman, last time in 2015.
In 2013, Testbiotech filed a petition at the Bundestag, where we called for stronger independence of the competent authorities and a broadening of independent risk assessment. The initiative was supported by numerous organisations, and members of all parties currently represented in the Bundestag showed their support.
In 2014, we addressed the same issue at a conference in Berlin. The petition was rejected at the end of 2014, but in 2015, Testbiotech published a further report on conflict of interest at German authorities, as well as a final report on the EU project GRACE.
Testbiotech gave evidence that, for example, in the case of genetically engineered maize 1507, almost no independent research had been provided to the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) for risk assessment. In many cases, EFSA opinions are based mainly on assumptions rather than on empirical investigations.
Testbiotech itself has launched and supported several science projects and conferences to show the gaps in risk assessment.
Testbiotech demands strict standards for the independence of the competent authorities and systematic promotion and funding of industry-independent risk assessment. We believe that companies which produce and market such products should all pay a “risk fee”. In addition, both the public and relevant organisations should have a say in the distribution of funds, thus ensuring that those bearing the greatest risk decide how that risk is assessed.