NEUE GENTECHNIK (NGT)
Unternehmens-Initiative: Mach‘ bitte mit für Wahlfreiheit bei Gentechnik im Essen!
Das Jahr 2024 ist ein Schlüsseljahr für die gentechnikfreie Lebensmittelproduktion. Die EU-Kommission drängt mit Macht darauf, das heftig umstrittene Dossier für Neue Gentechnik (NGT) noch vor der EU-Wahl im Juni 2024 „durchzudrücken“.
Daher wird jetzt eine wachsende Zahl an Unternehmen europaweit gegen den Plan der EU-Kommission, die Neue Gentechnik (NGT) weitestgehend zu deregulieren, aktiv. ETÖ setzt sich in Österreich, gemeinsam mit ARGE Gentechnik-frei in der Bio- und Nachhaltigkeitsbranche für dieses Thema ein.
Vienna, 15 January 2024
Dear Mr. Weber,
we are reaching out to you as representatives of leading businesses in the food industry and organic farmers in Austria and Europe.
We are very concerned about the law currently being discussed by the European Parliament and the Council of Agriculture Ministers to regulate new genomic techniques (NGTs).
The current draft legislation on NGTs will determine whether there will be organic agriculture and food production without genetic engineering in the EU in the future.
As leading organic businesses in the food sector, we know that most consumers in Austria are sceptical about genetically modified products and have the right to decide for themselves whether they want to buy and eat them.
We want to continue to be able to produce and offer products without the use of genetic engineering.
In 2022, approximately 20 billion euros were generated in the EU with conventional food labelled Non-GMO and approximately 55 billion euros in the organic sector in 2021.
Competition thrives on differentiation. The market segment for organic food and food produced without GMOs needs to continue to exist in the interest of a diverse range of products and our customers.
Biodiversity in nature and agriculture is a central component of sustainability and thus of the Green Deal’s farm-to-fork strategy.
This requires that there will continue to be agricultural areas without GMOs in the future.
The European People’s Party, which you lead, has a key role to play in the negotiations on legislation on new genetic engineering.
It is the largest political group in the European Parliament and appoints the rapporteur in the responsible Environment Committee.
Whether transparency and freedom of choice will continue to apply to new genetic engineering products for Europe’s consumers and the food sector in the future and whether EU organic farming can continue to operate without GMOs, in line with the global consensus, is partly in the hands of the EPP.
We are therefore very concerned that the EPP wants to enforce legal regulations that would result in 94 percent of all products produced with new genetic engineering (category 1 NGTs) remaining unlabelled and thus not being recognisable as such on the market. Your group’s position goes beyond even that of the EU Commission. While its legislative proposal at least provides for the labelling of genetically modified seeds, the EPP rapporteur’s draft removes even this minimum requirement for transparency – and thus the basis for the traceability and labelling of genetically modified products.
While the EU Commission’s draft explicitly stipulates the exclusion of category 1 NGTs in organic farming, the EPP wants to lift this ban.
In doing so, it is opposing the will of the entire European Organic sector. Hundreds of thousands of businesses in both the organic sector and the conventional Non-GMO sector have invested in functioning value chains over the last decades on the basis of the EU Organic Regulation and national Non-GMO legislation and have built up markets worth billions. These businesses are jeopardised if they can no longer reliably keep NGT products out of their value chains. Consumers rightly expect that products produced organically and Non-GMO do not contain genetic engineering.
We therefore urge you and your parliamentary group to revise your current position. We ask you to respect our entrepreneurial freedom to produce and sell products without GMO and to support the legal requirements that we need in order to remain capable of conducting our business: Traceability, labelling for all NGTs and for EU-wide binding coexistence rules for agriculture and food production with and without GMOs. We ask you to acknowledge organic products and all products without GMOs as an important competitive advantage of European agriculture and food production both on the domestic EU market and on world markets.
We ask you not to jeopardise successful markets worth billions that have been created by farmers and businesses in the food industry.
We are at your disposal for an appointment.
Enkeltaugliches Österreich (ETÖ