EU Parliament's GMOs/NGTs deregulation sparks controversy

The European Parliament's decision on patented Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) New Genomic Techniques (NGTs) deregulation in agriculture has caused a big controversy. Reported recently, this decision clashes with concerns raised by peasant organizations regarding seed sovereignty and the impact on GMOs-free farming.  

This move comes amidst a series of votes on European agricultural policy. While the Parliament seeks to address challenges in agricultural innovation and regulation, potential consequences for small farmers and traditional practices remain a concern.  

Peasant organizations, represented by the European Coordination Via Campesina (ECVC), strongly condemn the Parliament's position. They cite unresolved issues such as patent extension, disregard for the precautionary principle, and inadequate safety assessments for NGTs.  

Furthermore, the Parliament's response to seed sovereignty and farmer rights to exchange plant reproductive material (PRM) has been met with disappointment. Despite some positive amendments, the refusal to maintain key clauses and acceptance of provisions favoring the seed industry raise concerns within the agricultural community.  

As negotiations progress, ECVC and other organizations remain firm in their opposition to the draft GMOs/NGTs Regulation and advocate for improved PRM regulations. The outcome of these negotiations will significantly impact the future of European agriculture and the rights of small farmers.  

This controversy echoes long-standing debates on agricultural innovation and regulation, as highlighted in our previous article entitled: “EU Parliament Committee votes in favor of New Genomic Techniques, potential changes in GMO framework” published on January 29th, 2024. It underscores the complex task of balancing advancements with the preservation of traditional practices and protecting farmer rights within the European Union.