Should the proposal be adopted, an action for annulment would have good chances of success, according to law firm
EXCERPT: "If the EU Parliament and the Council of Ministers approve this proposal, then in the future, every vacuum cleaner in the EU would be better tested than our food," said Harald Ebner (The Greens Party), Chair of the Environment Committee in the Bundestag. "The proposal is so poor that a lawsuit against it would have good chances of success," adds Karl Bär (The Greens Party), chairman of the Committee on Food and Agriculture.
Expert opinion: EU Commission's genetic engineering plans are illegal
The EU Commission's plans to deregulate genetic engineering violate the "EU Constitution", according to a legal opinion. For food manufacturers, the result would also be significant legal uncertainties.
According to the report, the Commission's plans to abolish risk assessment and compulsory labelling for a large proportion of new genetic engineering methods violate the precautionary principle enshrined in the "EU's fundamental law", the Treaty of Lisbon. It would also violate the Cartagena Protocol, which is binding under international law. It requires that case-by-case risk assessments be carried out before genetically modified organisms (GMOs) are placed on the market.
Lawsuit would have good chances of success
Should the proposal actually be adopted, an action for annulment before the European Court of Justice (ECJ) would therefore have good chances of success, according to the expert opinion prepared by the Berlin-based law firm GGSC on behalf of the Green parliamentary faction in the German Parliament (Bundestag). This is because the fact that CRISPR plants, which the Commission wants to exempt from genetic engineering laws, are GMOs is consensus and is not questioned even by the EU Commission and genetic engineering advocates.
Significant legal uncertainties for suppliers
Both for businesses in the entire food sector and for the GM manufacturers themselves, the planned abolition of risk assessment and labelling would also lead to great legal uncertainties. Who would be liable for possible damages? Would there still be a need for risk assessment because of civil product liability? Would GM manufacturers be responsible or would all those who knowingly or unknowingly use the products? Which insurance schemes would be liable for what?
Clear stop sign for the EU Commission
"New genetic engineering is also genetic engineering and needs risk assessment and labelling. The EU Commission cannot just ignore that. The report is a clear stop sign for the EU Commission. It must not end up that the European Court of Justice has to stop the deregulation of genetic engineering", says VLOG Managing Director Alexander Hissting. "If Cem Özdemir, German Federal Minister of Agriculture, is serious about protecting coexistence and the 'Ohne Gentechnik' (Non-GMO) sector, he should lobby Brussels for a complete fresh start instead of rotten compromises. The clear position of Özdemir's parliamentary group on the EU Commission's illegal GMO plans is a good signal for the food industry, consumers and the environment!"
"Every vacuum cleaner is tested more rigorously than our food"
"If the EU Parliament and the Council of Ministers approve this proposal, then in the future, every vacuum cleaner in the EU would be better tested than our food," said Harald Ebner (The Greens Party), Chair of the Environment Committee in the Bundestag. "The proposal is so poor that a lawsuit against it would have good chances of success," adds Karl Bär (The Greens Party), chairman of the Committee on Food and Agriculture.
Excerpt from the expert report on legal uncertainties for companies (page 7) (in German)
"The lack of an obligation to identify risks and to label also leads to significant legal uncertainties for businesses. It raises the question for developers and distributors of NGT plants and NGT products of category 1, as well as for all market players in the food and feed chain, whether and to what extent they are liable for damages that may result from the use of NGT plants and NGT products of category 1. Is there a need for risk identification and assessment based on civil product liability? Who is responsible, those who develop and place category 1 NGT plants on the market or those who use them? Who must pass on what information (classification, properties, risks) to their customers without being asked or ask their suppliers for it? Which risks are covered by which insurance scheme?"