EU ‘farm-to-fork’ proposal opens door to gene editing, drawing fire from anti-GMO groups

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The European Commission has set targets to reduce pesticide use and sales of antimicrobials by 2030.

The Farm to Fork strategy includes a reduction by 50 percent on the use and risk of pesticides and in sales of antimicrobials used for farmed animals and aquaculture products.

“The Farm to Fork Strategy will make a positive difference across the board in how we produce, buy and consume our food that will benefit the health of our citizens, societies and the environment,” said Stella Kyriakides, commissioner for health and food safety.

Irish Farmers Association President Tim Cullinan warned the strategy could put farmers out of business. “…. They want food produced to organic standards, but available at conventional prices,” Cullinan said.

Related article:  Talking Biotech: 'Know GMO' documentary fights food fears, misinformation with science

Promotion of a new wave of GMOs and inadequate pesticide reduction targets undermine the strategy, according to Friends of the Earth Europe.

Mute Schimpf, food and farming campaigner for the group, said industrial agriculture is causing ecological collapse – and it’s made possible by pesticide use, weak GMO safety laws and factory farms being politically acceptable.

[Editor’s note: Activist groups refer to gene-edited crops as “new GMOs” or “GMO 2.0,” though they are not the same technology. Read more here.]

“The Farm to Fork Strategy leaves the door open for weakening GMO safety laws, remains dangerously weak on pesticides and industrial animal agriculture,” Schimpf said.

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