Consultation on loosening GMO regulations stirs debate

The European Union’s strict stance on genetically engineered crops may loosen after a consultation opened on the 29 April. These developments were brought forward due to the increasing need for ensuring food security and keeping the agriculture business competitive in light of the long-term changes caused by global warming as well as the immediate effects of the Ukraine-Russia conflict on the food market.

Health and food safety commissioner Stella Kyriakides supports deregulation as she emphasises new genomic techniques (NGTs) potential to build a more resilient and sustainable agri-food system. Her statement is in line with the results demonstrated by the Commission’s recently released fact sheet.

The Greens/EFA group however retains its staunch anti-GMO stance, arguing that long-term risks are still unknown, and that deregulation may give GMO patent holders unfair market advantages. Renew Europe group supports “proportionate” regulation for NGTs, as they expressed in their position paper. This would also support the change of laws on genetically engineered crops which are currently one of the strictest in the world.

You can read the details and the background on the EU’s GMO policy here. You can contribute to the consultation as well, which you will also find in the Consultations & Roadmaps section of our Brussels News Updates.

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