For the last few years, agribusiness and biotech giants have been quietly making changes to GMO regulation around the world. The same narratives that were used in the 1990s for the imposition of the first generation of GMOs are now being used to execute this deregulation. New gene-edited technologies, denominated under an alphabet of new acronyms, from NBTs (New Breeding Techniques), NGTs (New Genomic Techniques), TEAs (Techniques of Assisted Evolution), have been silently dovetailing into different countries’ existing agricultural legislation to by-pass any existing regulations and safety checks set in place for GMOs.
Countries such as Paraguay, Argentina, Brazil, India, Australia, the United States, Canada, Japan and others now allow gene edited crops to be commercialized with no environmental or consumption safety testing, no labeling, little to no traceability, and no need for public disclosure of gene edited organisms. It is a series of false promises: the promise of increased climate sustainability, increased yield for greater food security, pest resistance, greater health and so on, that have all, with time, been proven completely false. Effectively leaving farmers, and citizens completely in the dark as to what is now in their food.
But upon closer inspection, the deregulation of gene editing around the world has opened the door for the ushering in of a new “bioeconomy”, or a new method of economic production based on the manipulation of genetic information of microbes, plants and animals to “program biology” to be more economically productive. What is really at stake here is the next level of corporate takeover of not just our food system, but all living systems.
Navdanya International has been at the forefront of showing the false promises and failures of GMOs throughout the last decades. Highlighting how GMOs, in all their iterations, are fundamentally linked to an industrial system that has created our multiple, interconnected crises.
New gene editing technologies continue to shift attention away from these real alternatives that can drive ecological regeneration. Now it is more important than ever to protect our food and seed sovereignty. To demand that our democratic governments actually listen to the will of the people, and protect farmers and citizens from the risks of these new technologies, as well as hold corporations responsible for the destruction they’ve caused. The real solutions lie in the creation of ecologically integrated systems based on biodiversity, care and a science that understands and respects the interconnections between life and nature.
Over the last few decades, GMO crops have been imposed in countries all over the world, advertised as a solution to food insecurity and the malnutrition crisis. However, hunger, disease and malnutrition have increased, while biodiversity has declined and toxins have spread. GMO imperialism has destroyed the lives and livelihoods of small farmers and biodiversity in centers of origin. These centers of origin of biodiversity, like Mexico for corn, are the cradles of the world’s food supply, and the protection against plague, climate challenges, natural disasters or other hindrances to food production.
But corporations continue to impose gene-edited organisms, or new GMOs, in centers of diversity. They continue to shift their narrative towards framing nature and biodiversity as commodities for commercialization and patent monopolies. Despite these impositions- all over the world, citizens are rising against the unscientific, undemocratic, anti-ecological imposition of GMOs by corporations and governments.
Join the movement by signing the letter of declaration, as we call on governments, citizens and movements in each one of our countries, cities, towns and communities to continue our struggle in defense of life, diversity and freedom.
In this report, NI investigates the global deregulation of gene editing and the strategies of the agribusiness industry behind this new generation of GMOs. All over the world this new generation of GMOs are being deregulated with no labeling, no traceability and no corporate accountability if it all goes wrong.
Download PDF (full report)
New GMOs: European Parliament approves deregulation but with some limits – Press Release – 7 FEBRUARY 2024 – The risk assessment for GMOs obtained from New Genomic Techniques has been abolished. However, traceability and labeling remain in place thanks to two amendments by the Greens and S&D. All could still turn around if member states issue an opinion in the EU Council before the next elections.
According to the GMO-Free Italy Coalition, the only acceptable solution is for the new GMOs to remain fully within the scope of Directive 2001/18 on genetically modified organisms.
Green light for new gene editing techniques: threats and corporate interests behind new wave of GMOs
6 July 2023 […] The European Union, which seemed to represent the last bastion against the imposition of these new technologies, on July 5 2023, presented a new proposal for a regulation which proposes to consider plant products deriving from genetic editing, of “category 1”, or equivalent to those that “might be naturally occurring or produced by conventional reproduction”. It is essential for environmental, ecological and human health and safety to require that these new genetically modified organisms are labeled, subjected to independent evaluations and that their process of production, sale and distribution in nature is carefully regulated […]
Joint Letter to the European Commission on the EU Seed Marketing Legislation
31st May 2023 […] The upcoming reform of the legislation on the production and marketing of seeds will determine the rules of the game for the seed market and the conservation and development of cultivated plant diversity for the coming decades. It has the potential to “make or break” the attainment of the goals set out in the Farm to Fork Strategy, the EU Biodiversity Strategy 2030, and the EU’s climate commitments […]
On the morning of February 7, 2023 the European Court of Justice issued a ruling setting the stage for full deregulation of new GMOs. Amidst a long attempt by multinational lobby groups to declare new genomic techniques (also known as new breeding techniques, and gene edited organisms), separate from already standing regulation on GMOs, the courts has ruled that GM organisms obtained by in vitro mutagenesis (gene editing) have a long safety record and are therefore excluded from current GMO regulation in the EU.
The Convention on Biological Diversity must resist the commodification of all life
From Dec 7- 19, the 15th COP meeting of the UN Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) will be taking place in Montreal, Canada. This CBD COP is set to debate the next global biodiversity framework and it will set the tone for biodiversity governance through 2030, and onto 2050. Key topics being discussed at the COP15 are the issues around financing for biodiversity conservation, digital sequence information (DSI) and new biotechnologies. So far, the CBD has been the only international body addressing the governance of these new issues. In a new article by Navdanya International, “The Convention on Biological Diversity must resist the commodification of all life”, the details are laid out on how the double angle attempts at commodifying life, both through the digitalization of genetic information, and the financialization of biodiversity and ecosystems, really just represent the latest attempts of corporate interest to commodify life.and rupture of many of the Earth’s cycles such as, the nitrogen cycle, water cycle, carbon cycle, air flow cycles and cycles of biodiverse life.
Petition to say #IChooseGMOfree (April – November 2022)
The Gmo Revival (April 2021)
The lobby behind Italy’s opening to GMOs (December 2020)
Bill Gates & His Fake Solutions to Climate Change (April 2021)
GENE EDITING: UNEXPECTED OUTCOMES AND RISKS – GM Watch, Technical advisor: Dr Michael Antoniou
DRIVEN TO EXTERMINATE: HOW BILL GATES BROUGHT GENE DRIVE EXTINCTION TECHNOLOGY INTO THE WORLD – Zahra Moloo and Jim Thomas, ETC Group
GATES FOUNDATION HIRED PR FIRM TO MANIPULATE UN OVER GENE DRIVES – Jonathan Latham
BIODIVERSITY, GMOS, & GENE DRIVES OF THE MILITARISED MIND – Vandana Shiva