No more labeling requirements for new genetic engineering?
The moral courage Miesbach fears that the EU is going in this direction - and warns urgently of the consequences.
- “Are you stressed?
Then eat tomatoes. ”This or something like that could be an advertising slogan for a genetically modified tomato that has been registered for approval in Japan.
Their genome was “cut” with the so-called CRISPR / Cas gene scissors in such a way that they contain high concentrations of substances that are said to have a calming effect on the consumer's nervous system.
One of several examples that the managing director of the Munich association Testbiotech, Dr.
Christoph Then, cites the effects of a reform of the existing genetic engineering legislation in the European Union.
This could result in the currently mandatory approval test and labeling being weakened or repealed for all those animals and plants in which no alien genes have been inserted into the genome.
“That would correspond to the demands of many actors from industry and industry-related research,” says Then.
A concern that also worries the Miesbach civil courage alliance.
For more than ten years the initiators have been campaigning for a rural district of Miesbach that is free of agrogene technology.
Until recently it looked like they didn't have to fear any change for the worse.
Moral courage demands adherence to the ECJ ruling of 2018
The European Court of Justice (ECJ) stipulated in a ruling on July 25, 2018 that new genetic engineering processes must be assessed according to the same standards as the previous ones, reports the moral courage.
However, current activities by the EU Commission, such as a study from April 2021, show a tendency to undermine previously applicable rules.
However, based on the opinion of independent scientists, moral courage currently sees no reason to do so.
Rather, the population must be “informed in detail and factually” about the opportunities and risks of so-called new genetic engineering.
The positions of the parties represented in the Bundestag should be clearly recognizable.
In order to work this out, the moral courage asked the respective group chairmen and MEPs for comments.
In addition to a list of questions, it also includes an appeal: "Considerations of tactical elections must not be in the foreground with this topic, which is important for humans, animals and plants."
Expert: The precautionary principle should be strengthened
Then in any case, his opinion has already formed.
For him, the new genetic engineering harbors complex risks.
Since possible damage would only show up after a long time, the precautionary principle must be strengthened.
Also read: “Miesbacher Weg”: This is how civil courage wants to fight for a future suitable for grandchildren
In any case, the agricultural industry has already identified various fields of application for the gene scissors.
In wheat, for example, genes that are involved in the formation of gluten protein are to be switched off.
"However, this can inadvertently lead to the formation of proteins that lead to new intolerances," warns Then.
A herbicide-resistant and insect-poisonous maize has already been registered for approval in the EU.
Whether maize, wheat or the tomato mentioned at the beginning, Then and the representatives of moral courage are convinced that unwanted changes in the genetic material cannot be ruled out with the new genetic engineering.
All the more eagerly they are waiting for the statements of the political parties as to how they assess the "unknown environmental risks".