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European Parliament has inexplicable double standard on GMOs

Date

16 Jul 2020

Sections

InfoSociety

Brussels, BE – The European Parliament has recently authorised a temporary derogation from rules on genetic engineering, in order to allow COVID-19 vaccine development to benefit from GMO technology. In a statement, the Parliament said that "The derogation will facilitate the development, authorisation and consequently availability of COVID-19 vaccines and treatments". The Consumer Choice Center's Senior Policy Analyst Bill Wirtz says he's puzzled by the change of heart of Members of the Parliament :

"If you had suggested anything of the sort 6 months ago, some lawmakers would have been furious. Now that Europe is facing the largest health emergency in our lifetime, scientific innovation is desperately needed. This must be particularly confusing for all patients who could have been given more of a chance of survival if genetic engineering was allowed across the board for all treatments", said Wirtz.

"The unfortunate reality is that GMOs have been so highly politicised that we have moved away from a sober evidence-based conversation. It is now politically viable to allow for scientific innovation to fight this virus but in the area of agriculture, we are still facing a dead end. If it is safe for vaccines, then shouldn't we also trust the mountain of scientific evidence that it is safe in food?

"We need to rethink the 2001 Directive on GMOs, which has been at the forefront of slowing Europe down on genetic engineering", concludes Wirtz.

***CCC’s Senior Policy Analyst Bill Wirtz is available to speak with accredited media on consumer regulations and consumer choice issues. Please send media inquiries HERE.***

The Consumer Choice Center is the consumer advocacy group supporting lifestyle freedom, innovation, privacy, science, and consumer choice. The main policy areas we focus on are digital, mobility, lifestyle & consumer goods, and health & science.

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