Should food derived from CRISPR gene-edited seeds be labeled as GMO — all but ensuring they will not be adopted? Many EU food retailers say ‘yes’

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Credit: Shutterstock
Credit: Shutterstock

Leading EU supermarkets such as Aldi, Rewe and Lidl say that all products stemming from new genetic engineering methods such as CRISPR/Cas, TALENs and others, must be classified as GMOs. 

The food retailers are coming out fighting, releasing a joint statement today that sets out their objections to any “deregulation”​ of products derived from new genetic engineering processes, saying they would be place on the market untested and unlabeled. 

“Our expanding organic and conventional non-GMO product lines would be under particular threat of damage or destruction. A conventional non-GMO label must deliver what it promises and reliably exclude both old and new GMOs. The organic sector would be equally affected: The ban on GMOs, which is clearly laid down in the EU Organic Regulation, is an important selling point for organic products, and would be at risk if new GMOs are deregulated. The expansion of organic farming in Europe, envisioned in the EU Commission’s Green Deal, would also be jeopardized to a massive extent,”​ read their statement.

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“The significant increase in non-GMO products in supermarkets throughout Europe in recent years shows how transparency conforms to consumer preferences and demand,”​ they reported.

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