Don't bury the head in the sand when it comes to the risks!

Public activity started against deregulation of new genetic engineering (New GE)

13 October 2023 / Currently, all organisms obtained from genetic engineering (New GE) processes in the EU have to undergo risk assessment before they can be released, cultivated or marketed as food. However, strong pressure from the biotech lobby has resulted in the EU Commission wanting to abandon this basic principle in relation to plants obtained from New GE (also called new genomic techniques, NGT). Testbiotech is warning of the possible negative consequences for health, the environment, nature and the livelihoods of future generations.

Against this backdrop, Testbiotech is urging the continuation in future of a comprehensive risk- and technology assessment. The project pages “Impact Assessment” and "Set limits to biotech!" provide information on this topic. For interested members of the public, Testbiotech offers various possibilities of approaching politics in this regard, in particular those of the EU Commission and the EU Parliament.

The proposal of the EU Commission for a far reaching deregulation of NGT plants must not be accepted. Testbiotech emphasizes that New GE cannot be considered sustainable if ecosystems are overburdened by mass releases of non-adapted genetically organisms, hidden risks are introduced into the food chain, breeding is blocked by patents and consumer interests disregarded.

Testbiotech is especially demanding that the risks for health and the environment are subjected to detailed risk assessment. In addition, a comprehensive technology assessment (TA) must be carried out before plants and animals derived from New GE are used in agriculture.

New GE plants that have the potential to persist in the environment for several years, or to reproduce and spread, must be particularly closely examined in this context. They must not be released if there are any doubts. In general, the introduction of genetically engineered organisms into the environment should be limited as far as possible. As is the rule elsewhere in sensitive areas of nature conservation, environmental interventions should be avoided as far as possible.