Don't Miss Out

Subscribe to OCA's News & Alerts.

German Ministry Warns on Risks of New GM Products

Commission representative expects they'll be traceable and labelled. Claire Robinson reports on landmark Brussels conference

A conference on GMO Regulation for genomic techniques: Environmental and consumer protection aspects was hosted by the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Nuclear Safety and Consumer Protection, in Brussels on 13 June. Speakers addressed the European Commission's proposal to weaken the regulations around certain types of new GMOs.

The conference featured memorable presentations by several speakers, including:
* The German environment minister, who delivered evidence-based warnings on risks to health, the environment, and the organic sector from new GMOs.
* A European Commission official, a proponent of deregulation who nevertheless made important concessions on labelling and traceability of new GMOs.
* A researcher who described her findings on the detection of new GMOs.

German environment minister

Steffi Lemke, the German environment minister, emphasised that there is no need to regulate new GMOs differently. But she said that if new regulation is introduced, we need risk assessment and mandatory labelling. She warned that that new GM techniques have unintended effects, that new GM products may pose risks for health and the environment, and that the claimed benefits are not proven: "There is a high risk of greenwashing."