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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The official EU assessment of glyphosate was based on unpublished studies owned by industry. Seven months later, the pesticide industry still fights disclosure and, so far, successfully. We obtained a copy of their arguments.

Biodiversity collapse, the future of agriculture, politics versus science, EU States and the European Commission shifting blame on each other, industry's capture of the regulatory process through data secrecy, a Commissioner caught between Juncker, EU States, lobby groups, and his own services... The glyphosate saga, coming to the end of its first phase tomorrow, has been an entry point into many broader problems. Overview.

On 15 June 2016, the Commission will finally announce the long-awaited scientific criteria for EDCs. Time to do a recap of this last season’s main episodes.

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.

The official EU assessment of glyphosate was based on unpublished studies owned by industry. Seven months later, the pesticide industry still fights disclosure and, so far, successfully. We obtained a copy of their arguments.

While CEO is not taking a position on the UK referendum, many of our publications are relevant to those who will have a vote, or those who are following the debate.

Biodiversity collapse, the future of agriculture, politics versus science, EU States and the European Commission shifting blame on each other, industry's capture of the regulatory process through data secrecy, a Commissioner caught between Juncker, EU States, lobby groups, and his own services... The glyphosate saga, coming to the end of its first phase tomorrow, has been an entry point into many broader problems. Overview.

The European Commission proposal on scientific criteria defining endocrine disruptors (EDCs) is the latest dangerous outgrowth of a highly toxic debate. The chemical lobby, supported by certain Commission factions (notably DG SANTE and the Secretary-General) and some member states (UK and Germany), has put significant obstacles in the way of effective public health and environment regulation.

The corporate lobby tour