Image of protestors holding a green banner that says: let us decide what we eat and grow! #IChooseGMfree #NoNewGMOs

Crucial Countdown: Time to defend GM-free options as European Parliament faces vote on new GMO law

Dear readers,

Happy belated New Year! We kick-started 2024 by demanding investigations into two unregistered industry lobby groups, and we revealed five misleading narratives used by Big Toxics to keep hazardous substances on the market. We also joined the alternative farmers' protests in Brussels to demand stronger regulation for new GMOs. 

Just the week before, we also supported a farmers’ protest in front of the Belgian Liberal Party office, calling on the Liberal Belgian Agriculture Minister to stop behind-closed-doors talks in the Council, pushing for the deregulation for new GMOs. More and more are raising their voices against the deregulation of new GMOs and no patents on seeds. We echo the voices of farmers across Europe and demand safety tests, traceability, and labelling.

The European Parliament is taking a final vote on a disastrous new law for new GMOs that would mean complete deregulation. Excluding new GMOs from labelling and regulation  prevents farmers, food producers, retailers, and citizens from opting for GM-free choices. These are the last few days to take action, do it now

Meanwhile, we’ve also been asking: how ‘essential’ are hazardous substances? It may sound like a rhetorical question, but we are still exposed to alarmingly high levels of hazardous chemicals - both at work and in everyday life. But it’s obvious that products we ingest, play with, wash our clothes in, or squirt on our skin should not contain hazardous substances. 

In this context, the European Commission is developing a proposal for an ‘essential use’ concept. It could be an important step towards getting many hazardous substances out of the market and speeding up the shift to safer alternatives - because, yes, they exist! Nevertheless, Big Toxics and their allies have been lobbying hard to dilute the EUC and keep business as usual. 

How? Our new research unveiled five misleading narratives used by the chemical lobby to weaken the ‘essential use’ concept. Read it here!

That’s not all. Following our publication, Corporate Europe Observatory has written to the EU institutions about the lobbying group ASMoR, The Alliance for Sustainable Management of Chemical Risk, and asked them to investigate. ASMoR has been set up by industries opposed to the ‘essential use’ concept. It is not in the EU lobby register, despite having its own website, clearly being an active lobbyist in its own name, and being administered by a well-known Brussels lobby firm.

In a similar vein, and following analysis by Lighthouse reports and DeSmog on industry attempts to push back against efforts to curb antibiotic use on farms, in January we wrote to EU institutions to demand an investigation into unregistered influencing activity by the European Livestock Voice (ELV) - an EU-wide campaign launched by livestock industries back in 2019. 

This complaint follows hot on the heels of our previous complaint about unregistered lobbying by the oil-linked lobby outfit Consumer Choice Center. Cases like these should not exist. We need a legally-binding EU lobby transparency register.

In solidarity,

The CEO Comms Team

- Marcella, Joana, and Kat