- ENGA is the voice of the non-GMO food and feed sector at the EU level.
- ENGA secures and supports the expansion of non-GMO production that has developped an established and trusted quality standard and has become an important European market factor.
- ENGA advocates for the strict regulation of old and new GMOs – in order to keep untested and invisible GMOs from entering the EU food and feed chains.
- ENGA represents national non-GMO industries and economic operators (agriculture, food and feed processing, retail, certification) as a single European association.
- ENGA supports consumers in their choice for a GMO-free agriculture by promoting food that excludes GMO plants in production chains.
- ENGA advocates for EU legislation and policies that guarantee non-GMO production in the long term;
- ENGA establishes a permanent link with EU institutions and other international bodies to represent, defend and communicate the interests of its members;
- ENGA facilitates and co-ordinates the positions and activities of its members regarding integration and harmonisation of production and monitoring standards within the non-GMO sector at the EU level;
- ENGA enables a regular exchange of trends, experiences and information on scientific, technical, economic and political issues of non-GMO food and feed production; and
- ENGA provides support for EU member states, European countries, business platforms, institutions and companies in the European Economic Area that wish to establish and/or participate in a credible non-GMO labelling system.
- ENGA defends the current EU GMO legislation as the basis for the non-GMO value chain. A deregulation of products manufactured using the techniques of new genetic engineering (so called “genome editing”) could result in significant losses to the non-GMO sector, with the possibility of destroying it completely.
- ENGA offers an information service that provides regular updates on non-GMO production and labelling and GMO and non-GMO legislative, market and political developments in European countries and at the EU level.
- ENGA is a driving force to increase and improve cooperation and exchange among all participants of the European non-GMO market.
EU GMO legislation is under threat. ENGA advocates for proper implementation of the judgement of the European Court of Justice: the precautionary principle, risk assessment, detectability, traceability and labelling have to be applied to all new GMOs.
In July 2018 the European Court of Justice (ECJ) classified new genetic engineering techniques such as CRISPR/Cas and the resulting products as GMOs. Since then the pressure of different lobby groups to soften or even abolish the EU GMO legislation has increased enormously. Voices have been raised to deregulate all or some new GMOs. Deregulation would mean the abolishment of risk assessment and labelling. Food and feed produced with new genetic engineering techniques would enter the market untested and invisible to economic operators and consumers.
All non-GMO systems are based on the labelling of genetically engineered food and feed according to EU law. This means that, in order to use a non-GMO label breeders, farmers, beekeepers, food and feed processors and retailers must know which products have been produced with genetic engineering. A non-GMO sector that cannot reliably exclude new GMOs would quickly become vulnerable and obsolete.
Any GMO cultivation in the EU leads to an extension of monitoring efforts and costs for the non-GMO food and feed sector. ENGA opposes any new authorisations for GMO cultivation in Europe.
The cultivation of GMOs in the EU is a particular challenge: costly measures must be taken to avoid contamination of harvests and to keep GMOs continually out of the value chains. At present, genetically engineered maize is cultivated on a significant scale only in Spain. If further approvals for cultivation were to be granted, this would result in higher costs for the non-GMO sector. Due to the absence of a polluter-pays principle in the EU it would be up to the non-GMO sector to pay for monitoring, analyses, and segregation. The more GMOs are cultivated in European fields, the more complex and costly the segregation measures would be.