Corporate Europe Observatory

Exposing the power of corporate lobbying in the EU

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Open Letter to Commission: new GMOs should not escape regulation

In a joint open letter to the European Commission, eight farmers', environmental and food safety organisations demand that products derived from new methods of genetic engineering for plants and animals should not escape GM risk assessment and labelling.

Biotech industry and developers of these new genetic engineering techniques have been calling on public authorities to exempt them from GM rules. The undersigned groups argue that such an exception could threaten the environment and our health, and would violate EU law.

The methods include oligonucleotide techniques, nucleases (DNA scissors) and direct interventions in gene regulation (epigenetics). The organisations write: "Most of these techniques are so new that there is not sufficient information to properly assess the risks. Some also allow more radical changes to plant genomes than genetic engineering methods currently used in commercialised products."

The full letter is below.

 

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This May is dense on the EU chemicals regulation front. Crunch time for two major files: the European Commission needs to publish the identification criteria for endocrine disrupting chemicals, and together with EU States must decide how, or not, renew the market approval of glyphosate, an herbicide produced and defended by Monsanto. Last week, the Professor Alan Boobis happened to be involved in both.

Demonstrating the problematic symbiosis between corporate interests and EU institutions, the same lobbying consultancies often get hired by both.

The European Commission has shelved a legal opinion confirming that genetically modified organisms (GMOs) produced through gene-editing and other new techniques fall under EU GMO law, following pressure from the US government. A series of internal Commission documents obtained under freedom of information rules reveal intense lobbying by US representatives for the EU to disregard its GMO rules, which require safety testing and labelling.

The EU Food Safety Authority refuses to disclose new Director's Declaration of Interests and its own assessment of this person's interests.

An Open Letter to Heads of State and Government of the European Union

You have probably never heard of AMISA2. But it turns out that AMISA2 and its predecessor AMISA have had staggeringly regular high-level access to senior EU decision-makers for decades. It is a quiet but persistent presence operating in the shadows of the Brussels bubble.

A revised Emissions Trading Directive is like red meat for the hungry pack of lobbyists that work the corridors of Brussels’ political institutions. Even minor differences in how pollution permits are handed out can result in profits or savings of millions of euros to big polluters.

Read our submission to the EU lobby transparency register consultation and find out why the present, voluntary system just isn't enough.

The corporate lobby tour

Stop the Crop

Alternative Trade Mandate