Consumer group queries EU’s ‘inexplicable double standard’ on GMOs

The EU’s stance on genetically modified organisms (GMOs) has been criticised by the Consumer Choice Center, which has labelled it an “inexplicable double standard”.

The international consumer advocacy group noted that the European Parliament has recently authorised a temporary derogation from rules on genetic engineering, to allow Covid-19 vaccine development to benefit from GMO technology.

In a statement, quoted by the consumer group, the European Parliament said: “The derogation will facilitate the development, authorisation and consequently availability of Covid-19 vaccines and treatments.”

In response to this, the Consumer Choice Center’s senior policy analyst Bill Wirtz said he’s “puzzled by the change of heart” of members of the parliament, adding:

If you had suggested anything of the sort six 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.”

Continuing on the long-rumbling matter, the analyst said:

“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,” Wirtz claimed.