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The Organic Food and Farming Movement Calls for the Regulation of New Genetic Engineering Techniques as GMOs

During our General Assembly in New Delhi (India), on 12 November 2017, IFOAM – Organics International adopted a global position(link is external) which reaffirms that GMOs created through new genetic engineering techniques have no place in organic food and farming systems. The organic sector re-affirms its commitment to consumers to effectively exclude GMOs from its production systems and urges policy-makers to regulate the use of GMOs obtained by recent techniques.

Markus Arbenz, Director of IFOAM – Organics International: “The unified position of the organic sector, based on science and on the Principles of the Organic Agriculture(link is external) (Care, Ecology, Health and Fairness), is clear: new genetic engineering techniques are GMOs and must therefore not be used in organic production. The current absence of regulation for these new technologies in many parts of the world means that genetically modified plants and animals can be released in the environment with no risk assessment and no information for breeders, farmers and consumers. The organic movement calls on regulators to ensure transparency and traceability, and to safeguard producers’ and consumers’ freedom not to use untested genetic engineering techniques.”

IFOAM EU welcomes the adoption of this global position by the organic movement, which strengthens its own position adopted in December 2015, whereby all new genetic engineering techniques should be considered as techniques of genetic modification leading to GMOs and fall within the scope of the existing legislation on GMOs. In the European Union, on 18th January, the European Court of Justice will issue preliminary conclusions on whether some of the new genetic engineering techniques fall within the scope of the European legislation on GMOs (Case C-528/16(link is external)). The final ECJ conclusions are expected by mid-2018.

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