To preserve consumer transparency, Germany's new government must ensure that genome-edited plants do not escape GMO regulations and labelling, warns GMO-free food industry body VLOG
The "Ohne Gentechnik” (Without Genetic Engineering) sector is growing in Europe. As reported by VLOG, the German Association for Food Without Genetic Engineering, the number of members and licensees of VLOG has risen by 52 percent to over 600 companies in the past 12 months. This year, food manufacturers will turn over more than 4.6 billion euros with more than 7,000 foodstuffs bearing the "Ohne GenTechnik" seal.
Alexander Hissting, executive director of VLOG, warned that this booming industry needs a reliable political framework in order to fully exploit its economic potential. That means, he said, that the new coalition government must ensure that "genetically engineered plants do not make their way without labelling through the back door to the fields and supermarket shelves".
Hissting is referring to the new genetic engineering processes such as CRISPR/Cas. GMO proponents want plants produced by means of genome editing to be excluded from biotech regulations. This would put an end to the transparency and freedom of choice enjoyed by consumers with regard to genetically modified food. "Genetic engineering must be regulated and labelled as genetic engineering", Hissting said.
VLOG reports that the number of foodstuffs labelled with the "Ohne GenTechnik" seal has risen by 45 percent in the last 12 months. The segments with the highest sales are dairy products, eggs and poultry meat. Hissting commented, "This development is good for the environment, because fewer GMO plants end up in the feed troughs of our farm animals and fewer are cultivated on the fields - in Europe and worldwide. And it is good because it gives consumers the freedom to decide for themselves whether they want to promote or ban genetically modified plants with their consumption."
Germany's new government, Hissting added, "has the power to continue to let the consumer make an informed choice or to incapacitate him".
Source: VLOG (http://www.ohnegentechnik.org)