No new GMOs through the back door

Don't allow GMOs to go untested and unlabelled. Sign the petition!


As people in Europe have massively rejected GMOs, and our governments have started to ban their cultivation, agro-chemical companies have cooked up a new way to get GMOs onto our plates. They are trying to bypass European Union law by claiming that some GMOs - which are produced through a range of new techniques - aren’t in fact GMOs. If the companies get their way, GM plants and animals could soon end up in our fields and on our dinner table without any safety testing or labelling, and without any way to ban them. The fact is - we wouldn’t even know!

European law requires that GMOs undergo a detailed assessment of health and environmental risks, as well as labelling, to allow consumer choice. Since 2015, national governments can also ban GM crops from being grown in their countries. Nineteen of them decided to do so on all or part of their territory.

To political leaders in Europe:

As concerned citizens, we urge you to rigorously apply European Union legislation on genetically modified organisms (GMOs) to each and every GMO considered for sale in Europe, whatever the method used to create it.

National governments and the European Commission should leave no doubt that new GMOs produced through gene-editing and other techniques are subject to EU GMO law, which requires rigorous risk assessment, detectability and labelling. They must reject the industry’s attempts to bypass EU law and public opposition to GMOs, in order to safeguard the public and the environment.


The new GMOs are produced by "editing" the organism's own DNA, by inserting genetic material from a similar species, or by breeding from old-style GMOs. But that doesn't make them any more natural, and the problems are similar to those with existing GMOs: the engineering of living organisms is poorly understood and can result in irreversible damage to the environment, and to human and animal health.

Claiming that EU GMO law doesn't apply, as the agro-chemical industry does, is simply a lie. The law defines a GMO as an organism "in which the genetic material has been altered in a way that does not occur naturally". It covers all methods to manipulate an organism’s genetic code unless they have "long safety record" – which none of the new techniques can claim to have.

The European Commission said it would publish a legal analysis to tell national governments what's in and what's out of EU GMO law. The GMO companies, supported by the US government, are lobbying the Commission heavily to exclude the new techniques from GMO rules. If the new GMOs were to escape regulation, any negative impacts would go unchecked, and there would be no way to avoid them.

We need to make sure our politicians don't allow GMOs to enter Europe through the back door – sign this petition now to stop the new GMOs. Together we demand that our political leaders fully apply crucial laws designed to protect our health and the environment and not to bypass them for the sake of industry profits.

Friends of the Earth

Coordination Européenne Via Campesina

Greenpeace International