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ENGA Newsletter No. 02 :: February/2022

Dear Readers,

In order to credibly label Non-GMO feed and food products and thus provide a trustworthy and transparent system for traceability, the Non-GMO business sector needs comprehensive and reliable information about which products are “with GMO” – throughout the whole value chain. This of course applies to both “old” and “new” GMOs.

Consequently, the issue of research on detection methods for GMOs, especially the widely debated “new Genomic Techniques” have been a key topic in our recent ENGA meeting with the EU Commission’s biotech unit. The rather disquieting answer to our question about which research programs the Commission has already set up in order to identify products developed with techniques such as CRISPR/Cas was: none... This is all the more alarming as the entire EU food sector has been asking for detection methods and a correspondingly commitment by the EU regulatory bodies for years. Fortunately, 31 EU parliamentarians from 5 political groups have now addressed this omission in an open letter to the responsible commissioners, including a call for concrete action.

With the launch of an inception impact assessment in September 2021, the EU Commission has started its deregulation process for new GMOs. The upcoming impact assessment is expected for early April 2022.  During a 12-weeks consultation period for stakeholders affected by the envisaged new GMO legislation the Non-GMO sector has the opportunity to raise its voice and to stand up for its freedom to conduct Non-GMO business. ENGA will advise and assist and is preparing already policy papers and argumentative “tool-kits” for companies and associations. Please get in touch with us in case you are interested.

What Europeans think of when they hear "GMOs" and "USA": The world's number 1 in terms of GMO cultivation. But what few people know: The USA has by far the largest market for Non-GMO products worldwide. A total turnover of 40 billion USD and an annual growth rate of 5 to 10 percent show that consumer expectations in the USA and the EU are very similar. For many of them, GMOs on the plate are a supply without a demand.

Non-GMO food products rely on Non-GMO feed. And the EU is actively striving towards a European protein strategy. Essential element for these targets is the impressive production growth of European Non-GMO soybeans, certified by ENGA member Donau Soja. 10 percent of the last European soybean harvest have met the Donau Soja and Europe Soya standard.

Please support our work – e.g. by actively distributing this newsletter within your network - as of course we think it is essential to have the voice of ENGA being heard by as many players in the Non-GMO community as possible. We invite representatives of your network to regularly receive our newsletter link subscribe.

Please feel free to inform your partners and networks about the work and goals of ENGA, and to increase our strength on the European market and towards the European regulatory bodies by having as many business platforms and companies as possible to join our cause Membership Benefits.

By the way: ENGA is looking for communication support.

Kind regards,

Heike Moldenhauer

Secretary General

Upcoming: Impact Assessment for New Genomic Techniques

As part of the legislative process the EU Commission has announced an impact assessment for New Genomic Techniques, expected to start at the beginning of the second quarter of 2022. Stakeholders affected by the envisaged new GMO legislation will be invited to comment on policy options during a 12-weeks consultation period.

Active and wide-scale participation of the Non-GMO business sector is of utmost importance: The Non-GMO sector will need to actively stand up for its business interest. ENGA is committed to providing as much support as possible in this regard.

U.S. Non-GMO Market Grows to Be 40 Billion USD Sector

The Non-GMO market in the United States has grown to become a 40 billion USD sector with an annual growth rate of 5%-10%. A significant segment of the U.S. population actively avoids genetically modified foods—which isn’t easy since more than 90% of corn and soybeans in the U.S. are GM—and seeks out Non-GMO labeled foods. The Non-GMO Project has become the de facto Non-GMO standard in the U.S. By contrast to the European Union, which has mandatory GM labeling laws, which has kept GM foods off store shelves, foods containing GM ingredients are widespread in U.S. retail food stores. The Non-GMO Project has filled a need to give American consumers verified Non-GMO food options.

by Ken Roseboro, Editor, The Organic & Non-GMO Report

European Donau Soja Booming

The production of GMO-free soybeans certified by Donau Soja and Europe Soya surged by an enormous 49 percent in 2021. In 2021, 10 percent of the European soybean harvest already met the Donau Soja and Europe Soya standard.

ENGA is Looking for Communications Support

ENGA is looking for experienced communications support for its information and lobbying campaign around the politically highly relevant issue of the future regulation / deregulation of New Genomic Techniques by the EU Commission. Core campaign time: March – June/July 2022.

European Non-GMO Industry Association

Rue du Monastère 10-12
1000 Bruxelles

Telephone: +32 493 3354 91
Email: info(at)enga(dot)org