Bijdrage land­bouw­com­missie over genetisch gemo­di­fi­ceerde orga­nismen tijdens hoor­zitting over innovatie voor duurzame landbouw

16 maart 2021

Anja Hazekamp (PvdD): Dear Chair

Thank you for the opportunity to speak during this hearing as the ENVI rapporteur for the Farm 2 Fork report.

Ensuring a sustainable food system is a pressing issue, as climate change and biodiversity loss present ever growing challenges. Therefor, all varieties we introduce need to be safe and, in line with the Court of Justice ruling. This means that they need to be properly risk-assessed, based on the precautionary principle, and labelled as such. Because, as EFSA has recently highlighted, ‘new breeding techniques’ represent new risks. And I want to be clear: the ‘new breeding techniques’ are in fact genetic modification techniques, and have nothing to do with conventional breeding.

The promised health and environmental benefits of the new gmo’s are similar to the false claims of the old gmo’s. Over the last decades the majority of the GM crops are engineered either to be resistant to pesticides, or to make their own toxins, harming biodiversity despite the promise to help.

And the GM techniques in animals have caused immense suffering and have reinforced the industrial livestock model. The benefits are for the big-Agro businesses only.

Many of these technologies only aim to address the symptoms of our intensive agricultural model – while we urgently need a transition to an agro-ecological model instead. I’d like to ask the experts how they will ensure freedom of choice for farmers, producers and consumers, if we withhold them the right to know what they are planting, buying and consuming, by eliminating the obligation to label GM seeds, foods and products?

For those who are interested in the environmental and health impacts of new genetic modified organisms, the ENVI committee will organise a hearing on the 10th of May.

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