HomeSafetyNew GMOs, the blitz of Italian deputies with the excuse of war

New GMOs, the blitz of Italian deputies with the excuse of war

With the excuse of the war in Ukraine, a group of Italian deputies invites the government to open up to the cultivation of new GMOs. This was denounced by the Italian Coalition Free from GMOs - of which ours Égalité onlus it is part - which highlights the illegality of the clumsy initiative.

New GMOs, the blitz

The 11.5.22 the Chamber of Deputies has approved some motions asking the government to take urgent measures under the pretext of dealing with the impacts of the war in Ukraine on our economy.

Among these, the request is to intervene in the agricultural sector andtake initiatives to develop, promote and incentivize…. new technologies applicable in agriculture for genetic improvement based, for example, on cisgenesis and genome editing, ... and, therefore, to promote regulatory initiatives that allow the full development of assisted evolution technologies (TEA), also with the involvement of institutes of national research and university institutions'.

Illegal proposal

The request of deputies is patently illegal.

'Following up on these requests would run counter to the Italian legislation in force since 2000, but also to the European one.

The EU directive 2001/18 - thanks to judgment of the European Court of Justice of July 2018 - includes organisms obtained through the new varietal creation techniques (defined with the abbreviations NBT, NGT or TEA), considering them GMO in all respects and obliging them to carry out preventive risk assessment, traceability and labeling'explains the GMO Free Italy Coalition.

A business for the few

Failure to comply of the decision of the European Court of Justice, and the circumvention of the European directive currently in force, would risk producing gigantic economic damage to Italian agriculture, and especially to the organic sector. Damage that is difficult to quantify and irreversible.

The whole to guarantee the advantage of a few Italian seed companies and, above all, of the multinationals that dominate the world market, already in possession of almost all the patents necessary for the development of new GMOs.

Syngenta's attack

The proposal of deputies come close to the frontal attack on organic farming by the CEO of Syngenta, one of the four largest agrochemical and seed companies on the planet, according to which 'Faced with the threat of a global food crisis, it is necessary to give up organic farming'.

'An unsubstantiated statement and dangerous for a rapidly growing production and consumption model, which has led Italy to be today a leading country in the sector in the EU and in the world', underlines the Coalition.

More organic, never GMO

Organic is worth 7,5 billion in Italy and organic farms cultivate 17% of the agricultural area used in our country. 'With a European target that calls for 25% to be reached by 2030, we are starting from an advantageous position that it would be reckless to lose in favor of GMOs, whatever technique they are obtained from.

The huge majority of consumers - despite the crises that continue to overlap in our country - refuses to have on your plate GMO products, requires clear and transparent labeling that allows you to know, and therefore choose, with certainty what you eat'.

The solution is agroecology

The associations of the GMO-free Italy Coalition warn the government and Parliament from following up on the requests contained in the documents proposed to the Chamber, to avoid the destruction of GMO-free agriculture that guarantees superior quality products and greater protection of ecosystems.

In reverse than what was proposed to the Chamber, Italy should also improve the position of small-scale farmers in the supply chain, protecting typical products and favoring the development of agroecology: with this choice, on the other hand, it risks pushing them out of the market, clearing the customs of genetically modified productions, characterized by uniformity and that they will not have the miraculous impact that has always been attributed to them - against all evidence.

Marta Strinati and Dario Dongo


(1) The motions presented see as the first signatories the honorable Cillis, Viviani, Incerti, Spena, Gadda, Ripani, Fornaro, Gagnarli and have been signed by the honorable Meloni, Lollobrigida, Caretta, Ciaburro, Albano, Bellucci, Bignami, Bucalo, Butti , Caiata, Cirielli, De Toma, Deidda, Delmastro Delle Vedove, Donzelli, Ferro, Foti, Frassinetti, Galantino, Gemmato, Lucaselli, Mantovani, Male, Mollicone, Montaruli, Osnato, Prisco, Rampelli, Rizzetto, Rotelli, Giovanni Russo, Rachele Silvestri, Silvestroni, Trancassini, Varchi, Vinci, Zucconi.

Cover image by François Maret, le myblog

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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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Dario Dongo, lawyer and journalist, PhD in international food law, founder of WIISE (FARE - GIFT - Food Times) and Égalité.

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