EU Health Commissioner: Let’s talk about GMOs, CRISPR, because 100-year-old farming methods aren’t sustainable

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“We cannot achieve sustainability with the exact same production models that we used 100 years ago when all the other variables have changed,” the outgoing EU Health Commissioner Vytenis Andriukaitis told EURACTIV.com

Andriukaitis said he had spent a great deal of time reflecting and talking about food, about what works and what doesn’t, about the ways to improve the sustainability of food systems.

eurokomisaras vytenis andriukaitis
Vytenis Andriukaitis. Image: AFP/Scanpix)

“So, before we reject and ban science – be it GMO or New Plant Breeding Techniques (NPBTs), let’s have a very serious discussion on how the progress in science can benefit us while addressing the challenges of the global warming and biodiversity,” he said.

The rapid advancement of biotechnology such as GMOs and NPBTs promises to tackle climate change. However, in many parts of the world, including Europe, biotechnology faces strong opposition.

Related article:  Viewpoint: Legal crusade against Bayer's Roundup herbicide threatens fish and wildlife

For instance, GMOs are banned from cultivation in most of Europe. In addition, the EU Court has ruled that NPBTs are basically GMOs and should, in principle, fall under the GMO Directive.

While EU policymakers have repeatedly called for trust in science, the opposition comes mainly comes from environmentalist groups, who insist that food production systems and conventional farming should change and focus on greater sustainability and agroecological practices.

Read full, original article: Andriukaitis: 100-year old production models cannot achieve food sustainability

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