The Green Position Genetic Engineering

We say "no" to genetically modified foods and crops

If the promises of the agro-genetic engineering lobby are to be believed, genetically modified (GM) plants are the modern form of the goose that lays golden eggs. They supposedly provide a solution to all our problems: by reducing pesticide use, safeguarding world food security, and supplying biofuels.

However, advocates of agro-genetic engineering have yet to provide any evidence that genetically engineered crops genuinely bring any benefits for consumers or sustainable agriculture. They do not increase yields over the long term, nor do they genuinely reduce pesticide use. Instead, with insect-resistant crops such as MON810, the controversial genetically modified maize, the entire plant is genetically engineered to become a pesticide. Nor do genetically engineered crops safeguard world food security. In most cases, they are an export good – as cotton for cheap T-shirts, or feed for the meat industry, to satisfy the meat hunger of consumers in the industrialised countries. Meat hunger creates world hunger – and no technology can offer a solution here, especially not agro-genetic engineering.

Agro-genetic engineering: a step back not forward, monocultures instead of diversity

Agro-genetic engineering creates monocultures in our fields, dependency on major chemical companies, and risks for people and the environment. The freedom of genetic engineering companies such as Monsanto or BASF should not lead to a lack of freedom for farmers and consumers who want to produce and consume GM-free products. Agro-genetic technology conflicts with the green goal of sustainable and future-oriented agriculture based on biodiversity and consumers' wishes.

The green goal is to stop the onward march of agro-genetic engineering in foods and feedstuffs once and for all. We want

  • a ban on gentech crops, such as the genetically modified maize MON810 and BASF's Amflora potato. These crops put humans, the environment and GM-free farming at risk,
  • more legal security for GM-free farming. Farmers, beekeepers and food producers who want to operate on a GM-free basis should be better protected from GM contamination,
  • an end to the corrupt relationships between experts working for the national and European regulatory and licensing authorities and the agro-genetic engineering lobby,
  • to close the gap in GM labelling of animal products. Current labelling schemes do not enable consumers to see whether the meat, milk or cheese that they are purchasing comes from animals which were fed genetically modified soya or maize, for example,
  • a ban on biopatents for plant and animal species and for biological breeding processes. Biopatents allow a few major corporations to claim a monopoly on plants and animals, put farmers in a position of dependency and block the development of innovative breeding processes.

 

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