Vier Europese parlementsleden van verschillende politiek fracties, waaronder Bart Staes, concluderen na een bijeenkomst met nationale experten, dat de Europese risicoanalyse van genetisch gewijzigde organismen door EFSA niet zo wetenschappelijk doortimmerd en coherent is als vaak wordt beweerd. Bovendien werd opnieuw duidelijk dat er geen wetenschappelijke consensus bestaat over de veiligheid van ggo's.
On the initiative of the Members of the European Parliament Maria Heubuch (Greens, Germany), Maria Noichl (S&D, Germany), Sirpa Pietikäinen (EPP, Finland) and Bart Staes (Greens, Belgium), a public discussion on the risk assessment of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) took place on 15 September in Brussels. The panel was composed of national experts, as well as representatives from the European Commission and the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA). The national experts deal with the testing of GMOs in Austria, Germany and Norway and have submitted extensive scientific comments to EFSA.
MEPs summarised the results of the discussion as follows: "The experts have made it very clear that there is no scientific consensus on the safety of GMOs. The risk assessment by EFSA is based on an obsolete concept. Many risks are not assessed: for instance, there is no research available on combinatorial effects, the impact of the use of pesticides, or on possibility of uncontrolled spread and many other risks. It is particularly worrying that the researchers do not have adequate access to GMO materials for scientific purposes since GMOs are protected by patents. Therefore, critical research on the risks of GMOs is impossible."
"The risk assessment procedure needs to be improved and a genuine dialogue about the scientific input from the Member States is necessary. We need to keep pesticide-resistant plants off the fields and ensure strict risk assessment for plants which were produced using new biotechnological methods. We are concerned to see that the European Commission is taking a different route. We are appalled by the letter which has been made public a few days ago. In this letter, EFSA thanks the European Commission for the remarkable task it had been assigned: to consider which parts of risk assessment could be dropped when importing genetically contaminated food and feed. Instead of strengthening the precautionary principle and improving the risk assessment, this would create significant loop holes! It would mean giving up control over what we eat and letting the governments of other countries decide. This also needs to be seen in the context of the ongoing trade negotiations with the United States and Canada which are explicitly asking for less risk assessment."
For further inquiries, please contact:
Maria Heubuch, MEP, Tel: +32 2 284 5335, firstname.lastname@example.org
Maria Noichl, MEP, Tel: +32 2 28 45157, email@example.com
Sirpa Pietikäinen, MEP, Tel: +32 2 28 45264, firstname.lastname@example.org
Bart Staes, MEP, Tel: +32 2 28 45642, email@example.com