Draft rapporteur’s report on New Genomic Techniques “an affront”


The draft report of the rapporteur of the European Parliament’s Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety is completely unacceptable, says ENGA (the European Non-GMO Industry Association), given its removal of the already threadbare nods to transparency for EU citizens in the European Commission’s proposal on New Genomic Techniques (NGTs).

The EP rapporteur’s draft report removes the only transparency requirement proposed by the European Commission for category 1 NGTs (about 94% of all New GMOs): the need to label seeds as NGTs. This means that the whole food production chain, starting with breeders and farmers, as well as food and feed processors, retailers and consumers, will be kept in the dark about New GMOs on the EU market.

If the rapporteur has her way the only information provided to the public is that a New GMO of category 1 has received EU market authorization: a database will list all NGTs that have gained approval. In terms of transparency this database is next to useless, given that it will simply state that a product has market authorization, not that it is actually on the market. No information on its NGT status shall be provided for any product.  

The draft report also removes the ban of New GMOs in organic food, a core demand of the organic sector and of consumers.

ENGA calls for EU parliamentarians to reject the proposal of the Committee’s rapporteur, J. Polfjärd, and to stand up for more, not less, transparency: full labelling and traceability for all NGTs, full transparency for all business operators and consumers, so that both the food sector and EU citizens can avoid GMOs if they so wish.

Heike Moldenhauer, Secretary General of ENGA, comments:
“It’s hard to believe it possible, but this draft report is even worse for consumers’ transparency and for those in the food sector than the European Commission’s original proposal. Without freedom of choice for business operators and consumers it signals the end of the free market. Its proposals are an affront to all EU food producers and retailers, as well as consumers who don’t want use, sell or eat GMOs.”