Viewpoint: EU court’s finding that GMOs are safe contrasts with public’s ‘unfounded prejudice’

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Italian farmer Giorgio Fidenato was sued by the Italian government for growing GMO corn and anti-GMO activists destroyed his crops.

[Editor’s note: Roberto Defez is a molecular microbiologist at the Institute of Bioscience and BioResources, Italian National Research Council. Dennis Eriksson is a researcher at the Department of Plant Breeding, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences.]

Albert Einstein said, “It is harder to crack prejudice than an atom.” A persistent prejudice in the EU is that against GMOs. An EU court judgment has restated that fears are unfounded, but will Europe take the opportunity to become a science-based society?

[Editor’s note: Background on EU court judgment here]

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We should be suspicious of something unknown, but we now have so many analyses, restrictions, evaluations and experience on the use of GMOs as food and feed (or for medical care) that we can handle the GMOs using the actual EU laws.

The [Court of Justice of the European Union] judgment has now presented a great opportunity to start recovering a rational, science-based approach. The technology to produce GMOs is already old and mainstream. Emerging genome editing technology adds to the diversity of the breeder´s toolbox and provides easy, rapid, precise and powerful means to reduce pesticide inputs as well as help plants to face climate changes.

With a strong research community, Europe has the opportunity to guide the change instead of only importing and paying for the final products. Companies have learned a lot from the GMO lesson. Scientists are ready. Farmers like Giorgio Fidenato too. Let’s break the prejudice.

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The GLP aggregated and excerpted this article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion and analysis. Read full, original post: EU and GMOs: The case for a knowledge-based society

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