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Groups Slam EU Proposal to Deregulate New GMOs

Commission reportedly aims to exempt some new GMOs from safety regulations within four years and change regulation for all new GMOs within 10 years

In April this year the European Commission's health division DG SANTE published a "working document" in which it announced that the EU's GMO regulations are "not fit for purpose". The Commission made suggestions that could lead to crop plants produced using experimental new GM techniques such as gene editing being exempted from the requirements of the regulation. This could mean that these crop plants would not be subjected to safety checks, GMO labelling, or traceability and monitoring requirements.

Now 57 groups, consisting of non-governmental organisations (NGOs), a peasant farmer organisation, and business and trade associations, have sent a response to the Commission,* strongly opposing its plans on the grounds that "deregulation of new GM techniques would pose unacceptable risks to human and animal health and the environment. Deregulation would also prohibit citizens from knowing what they are eating and farmers from knowing what they are sowing."