Future GE Developments Remain Risky, according to the Third World Network Biosafety Information Service
|Title: Future GE Developments Remain Risky|
Publication date: February 13, 2014
Posting date: February 13, 2014
THIRD WORLD NETWORK BIOSAFETY INFORMATION SERVICE
Dear Friends and Colleagues
Re: Future GE Developments Remain Risky
A new report from Testbiotech entitled “Free trade for high-risk biotech‘? Future of genetically engineered organisms, new synthetic genome technologies and the planned free trade agreement TTIP” examines future developments in agro-biotechnology and genetic engineering. It focuses on the kinds of GMOs for which market authorisation has been applied in the EU and those that are in the pipeline and might soon be on the market. The report discusses these future applications in the context of the proposed Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) agreement between the EU and USA, which may facilitate placing such products on the market.
Forty-nine GE crop events have been approved for import into the EU for use in food and feed while 55 applications for authorisation of new GE crop events are pending. Most are insecticidal and/or resistant to herbicides. These same traits also appear in so-called stacked events, which increasingly combine multiple traits. New applications in the future include GE trees and GE insects.The report also discusses the new 'synthetic genome technologies' which involve radical alteration of genomes. The report warns, with supporting evidence, that these technologies are complex, failure-prone and linked to uncertainties and risks.
Testbiotech asserts that if society wants to allow the use of some of these technologies and applications, there is no alternative but to reinforce precautionary approaches in parallel. The report therefore recommends strengthening the Precautionary Principle; extending ethical debates on the protection of genetic identity and integrity of living beings; and changing agricultural policy to include more comprehensive protection of the environment and enhancement of biodiversity.
The Summary and the Conclusions and Recommendations of the report are reproduced below. The full paper can be downloaded at: www.testbiotech.org/node/1007