News Column

GMOs focus of renewed public discussion: New growing voices website goes live

January 22, 2014

ENP Newswire - 22 January 2014

Release date- 22012014 - Brussels: Companies that develop genetically modified crops - or GMOs - are stepping up their engagement with the European public. They are responding to a growing demand for easy access to facts and examples of the benefits of agricultural biotechnology.

The initiative, with the new, multilingual Growing Voices website as its flagship, is intended to make it easier for the European public to engage with the industry and to highlight growing voices calling for an EU rethink on GM crops.

Nathalie Moll, Secretary General at EuropaBio, said: 'It is important that we, the biotechnology industry, listen to concerns raised by the European public and engage in an open discussion. We recognise that more needs to be done to share information about how agricultural biotechnology offers tangible benefits to farmers around the world and to society at large. We hope that the launch of the Growing Voices website is a step towards direct communication with EU citizens, who will be able to access information from a wide range of stakeholders that are in one way or another in contact with the technology and have a message to share.'

She added: 'At the end of the day, it's about biotech and organic and conventional. It's about coexistence of all forms of agriculture. It's about understanding how and why agricultural biotechnology is a continuation of innovative breeding techniques in agriculture and why everyone should have the freedom to choose.'

Through video content, the Growing Voices website also highlights the increasing number of independent expert voices calling for European policy makers to think again about GM crops from as diverse backgrounds as NGOs, media, academia and science.

Julie Girling, Member of the European Parliament, said: 'The EU has one of the strictest legal frameworks for approving GM products. Having said this, many of these products are still not allowed onto the EU market despite the strong scientific evidence proving their safety and efficacy. As a result many key industry players have already moved their GM production and R&D facilities out of Europe. This is a cause for concern, as the current backlog of EU approvals for new products could lead to a further significant decline in R&D in Europe with possible far-reaching consequences not only for our farmers but for the EU economy as a whole.'

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Source: ENP Newswire

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