Why EU GMO law must be fully applied to the so-called ‘New Plant Breeding Techniques’

Biotechnology companies argue that genetically modified organisms (GMOs) that have been produced through a range of new techniques should be excluded from the European Union’s GMO regulations.

They want to apply these techniques to engineer plants and animals for use in industrial food, biomass and biofuel production. This would mean that there is no risk assessment, labelling and monitoring of GM organisms produced by the new techniques and their derived products.

The new GMOs present a real risk to the environment and human health. Legal analysis shows that they are covered by EU GMO law. If they were to escape EU regulations, any potential negative effects on food, feed or environmental safety would go unchecked. European consumers, farmers and breeders would have no way to avoid GMOs.

The Commission and national governments of EU countries should leave no doubt that all products of genetic engineering are subject to EU GMO law which requires rigorous risk assessment, detectability and labelling.