HomeProgressDeregulation of new GMOs, counter-information from farmers and researchers 

Deregulation of new GMOs, counter-information from farmers and researchers 

The risk of deregulation of new GMOs (also called NBT or TEA) agitates farmers and researchers aware of the dangers associated with the invasion of genetically modified seeds throughout Europe, without the possibility for Member States to oppose, as we have seen. (1)

The organization 'Cambiare il Campo!', supported by ASCI (Association of Solidarity for the Italian Countryside), is conducting an information campaign aimed at citizens and agricultural companies, in particular at fairs and markets. Below is the appeal. (2,3)

Deregulation of new GMOs

We are close to possible deregulation of a wave of new genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in Europe, which could change our agriculture and the food we eat forever.

Hitherto, the marketing of foods derived from GMOs and/or containing them has been bound to specific risk assessment conditions (for human and animal health, biodiversity and the environment).

But the situation could change soon.

Italian agriculture on sale

The European Commission proposed to remove all these constraints, including the possibility for member states to ban GMOs on their territory. The proposal intends to liberalize new GMOs, with the misleading name of 'New Genomic Techniques' (NGTs), or TEA (Assisted Evolution Techniques).

Propaganda of the promoters sees Coldiretti at the forefront, followed by Confagricoltura and CIA. In conflict of interests with the Big 4 (Bayer-Monsanto, Basf, Corteva and ChemChina-Syngenta) which, as seen, control 60-70% of the global seed and pesticide market.

These organizations they are turning their backs on the farmers they say they represent, to sell off Italian agriculture to multinationals whose strategy is based on the monopoly of patented GMO seeds and plants. What risks do we run and why must we all mobilize?

What we know about new GMOs

1. New GMOs are not safe for health

The NGTS, New Genomic Techniques, are promoted as 'targeted and precise' technologies. ANSES, the French Agency for Health and Food Safety, has instead shown how these technologies can actually cause hundreds of involuntary and random cuts in the DNA of the "target" organism. And plants can thus develop new toxins and allergens, potentially harmful to health.

2. New GMOs are not the answer to climate change

The promoters of genetic engineering they claim their techniques can reduce pesticide use and provide crops adapted to extreme weather conditions such as drought and pathogens. However, these claims are baseless. Over the past thirty years, genetically modified crops have instead led to increased use of pesticides without demonstrating any increased tolerance to drought.

3. New GMOs are a business for multinationals

Bayer-Monsanto, BASF, Corteva and ChemChina-Syngenta they are the largest agrochemical and seed multinationals in the world. Together, they now control 62% of the global seed market.

Through patents on NGT will make farmers increasingly dependent on a handful of companies.

In the United States, where GMOs have long been deregulated, between 1990 and 2020 the prices paid by farmers for GMO seeds increased by 463%. There's worse.

In a system where there is no longer traceability, biocontamination caused by GMO pollen migrated thanks to pollinators or atmospheric agents could push patented traits from one field to another, polluting those of organic or non-GMO farmers. At that point, patent-holding companies could sue farmers for intellectual property infringement, organic farming could lose its value, and our food security could be put at risk.

Marta Strinati

Footnotes

(1) Dario Dongo. New GMOs, the final betrayal. GIFT (Great Italian Food Trade).

(2) https://cambiareilcampo.noblogs.org/ 

(3) https://sitoasci.wixsite.com/asci/

Marta Strinati
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Professional journalist since January 1995, he has worked for newspapers (Il Messaggero, Paese Sera, La Stampa) and periodicals (NumeroUno, Il Salvagente). She is the author of journalistic surveys on food, she has published the book "Reading labels to know what we eat".

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