Bijdrage mili­eu­com­missie over de methoden voor de beoor­deling van gezond­heids- en mili­eu­risico's en soci­aal­eco­no­mische vraag­stukken in verband met planten die zijn verkregen met behulp van bepaalde nieuwe geno­mi­ca­tech­nieken (NGT's)

9 april 2024

Anja Hazekamp (PvdD):

Thank you very much for your presentation. The political discussion on this topic is very much influenced by the interests of the multinationals with a lot of market power and lobbying power.

Your independent and scientific voice is a much needed, nuanced voice in this debate that has been dominated by industry interests.

What I found very important in your report, is your recommendation to adopt a case-by-case assessment, taking into account both the precision of the technique used and the characteristics of the plant obtained once the genome has been modified, while also considering all the potential toxicological, nutritional, agronomic and environmental consequences of the new characteristics. Could you please tell us why this is so essential and how this could be done in practice? And would you agree that the way in how a certain crop is placed and treated in the larger agricultural ecosystem, will influence how sustainable or not the final agricultural practice in fact will be? How could we also insert this broader systems-element in your case-by-case assessment?

I am quite critical towards the Commission criteria to determine which plants should be in category 1. The Parliaments rapporteur has copied an even more far-reaching definition of category 1 in her report. Have you had a chance to look at this definition, and could you share your views on this?

Finally, you mentioned that the graded approach is not a risk-based approach and that the risks identified for NGTs are not radically different from those arising from transgenesis techniques, you also stressed the importance of post-marketing surveillance.

There are a lot of actors in the debate that are categorically denying that there are any risks associated to any NGT plants. In fact, they are trying to make us believe that NGTs and GMOs are two very different things, and that they have nothing to do with each other. What would you say to them? And can you explain why and how we should be monitoring the health and environmental effects of NGT plants and the derived products?

Thank you very much. I would be very interested in hearing your reflection on this.

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