ECVC says it "cannot participate in a consultation that makes it impossible to express its position"
The European Coordination Via Campesina (ECVC) has written to the European Commission in an open letter expressing its refusal to participate in the ongoing public consultation on new genomic techniques.
In the letter, ECVC denounced a biased consultation process that does not permit people to express opposition to the European Commission's initiative to deregulate new genomic techniques, which is to be adopted in the course of the year 2023. Indeed, the formulation of the great majority of the questions in this consultation attempt to force people to accept the possibility of abandoning the current GMO legislation. ECVC adds that the consultation is based on erroneous legal presuppositions or inaccurate or unfounded information, which the group details in a French language analysis.
ECVC represents 31 organisations of European small and medium farmers and peasants, and defends their rights to save, use, exchange and sell their seeds and to practice GMO-free agriculture. These rights are directly threatened by any weakening of the rules on risk assessment, traceability and labelling of GMOs derived from these new techniques.
Under these conditions, ECVC says it cannot participate in a consultation that makes it impossible to express its position. ECVC also denounces the refusal of the Commission, which organises this consultation, to take into account the impact of intellectual property rights (patents) on the agricultural sector and the peasants’ rights to seeds.
Furthermore, during the previous consultation on the same subject, ECVC had indicated, together with a majority of stakeholders and more than 60,000 citizens, that it categorically refused any abandonment of the current regulation. ECVC said, "The European Commission has obviously not taken these opinions into account, which also questions the usefulness of this type of consultation if dissenting views are systematically ignored."
In protest against this biased consultation process, influenced by seed and biotech industries’ interests, ECVC has called for a mobilisation against this attack on the rights of farmers and citizens to GMO-free food and agriculture. ECVC invites everyone to sign the petition, "Keep New GMOs regulated and labelled!", launched by more than 45 European organisations, which has already collected more than 85,000 signatures.