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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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