86% want GM foods labelled, while 68% of those who've heard of new GM techniques such as CRISPR want labelling for foods produced with them
The Greens/EFA Group have released data that finds that the vast majority (86%) of Europeans that have heard of GM crops want food containing genetically modified plants to be labelled as GMOs.
Additionally, the study commissioned by the Group finds the majority (68%) of respondents that have heard of new genetic engineering techniques demand that food produced with new techniques, such as CRISPR, to be labelled as GMOs. An extremely low number of respondents (3%) agree with the industry’s proposal to exempt these products from GMO safety testing and labelling.
The polling organisation Ipsos conducted the representative survey on behalf of the Greens/EFA Group in the European Parliament, between 11 February and 5 March 2021 in all 27 EU countries.
Martin Häusling, agricultural policy spokesman for the Greens/EFA Group and shadow rapporteur for the Common Agricultural Policy in the lead Committee on Agricultural Policy, said:
"If genetic engineering has been used to make a product, then it must be clearly indicated on that product. The European Commission must respect the will of consumers for transparency about GM food, including food produced with new GM methods. We demand that the same rules for authorisation and labelling apply to all types of GMOs. Consumer protection means freedom of choice and transparency about whether our food has been produced with genetic engineering, regardless of whether old or new GM methods have been applied."
Products created using new genetic engineering techniques are covered by the EU's rules for the authorisation and labelling of GMOs. But seed companies such as Bayer and BASF are demanding that food produced with CRISPR and similar GM techniques be exempted from these rules. The European Commission has announced that it will present a study on new genetic engineering techniques at the end of April and promised expanded labelling rules for food in its strategy "Farm to Fork".