The ongoing and future work of IFOAM EU on GMOs

The ability of the organic sector to produce and supply high level quality food, cosmetics and textile at a decent cost is under threat from the increasing risk of GMOs contamination. That is why IFOAM EU launched the ‘Keeping GMOs out of food’ project in 2014.

This project has enabled the organic sector to hold strategic debates during three roundtables and three workshops, to work on a common position on new genetic engineering techniques, to study the impacts of GMOs on European agriculture, to study national ‘coexistence’ measures in the EU to prevent GMO contamination and to propose practical solutions to avoid them (with practical guidelines to avoid contamination to be published in 2018). The ‘Keeping GMOs out of food’ project will end with a final event to review the main achievements of the project in June 2018.

However, with the development of new genetic engineering techniques – or so called ‘new breeding techniques’, e.g., gene editing – that are not yet regulated as GMOs, the freedom to use seeds which have not been genetically engineered is at stake. In July, IFOAM EU will launch a new project ‘Keeping GMOs out of organic’. This project will continue to build the capacity of the organic movement to minimise the risk of the release of GMOs in the environment. This new project will focus on making sure that new genetic engineering techniques will be regulated as GMOs under Directive 2001/18/EC. The project will identify the difficulties faced by the organic sector to remain GMO-free and will develop practical solutions to ensure farmers’ access to GMO-free seeds.

For question related to the project, to participate to the new project of IFOAM EU and/or sponsor the advocacy work on GMOs and new genetic engineering techniques, please contact pauline.verriere [@]

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