GMO-Free Europe Event 2022

17 Nov
10:00 - 13:00
European Parliament
17 Nov
10:00 - 13:00
European Parliament


The GMO-Free Europe Event took place on 17 November 2022 at the European Parliament, co-organised by Save Our Seeds and IFOAM Organics Europe and hosted by the Green Group / EFA in the European Parliament. Aim of the event was to discuss the European Commission’s initiative to change the legislation on the approval, risk assessment and labelling of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO) in food and agriculture. 

The Commission has announced a new legislative proposal for the second quarter of 2023, which may exempt certain GMOs obtained from CRISPR-Cas and similar so-called ‘New Genomic Techniques’ from the present level of risk assessment, traceability and labelling. What would be the consequences of such a deregulation on environmental and consumer protection and on the GMO-free production chain in Europe? What about labelling and the right to know? What about science and precaution?  

In its Berlin Declaration 2018, the 9th Conference of GMO-free Regions stated: We want to emphasize that – in line with the ruling by the European Court of Justice – the regulation of all GMOs and methods for genetic engineering are subject to precautionary risk assessment and transparent approval procedures as well as labelling and traceability obligations under GMO legislation.  

The event brings together representatives of GMO-free Regions, scientists, farmers, producers, retailers and consumers as well as NGOs, civil servants, and politicians to scrutinise the proposal and take a stand. 

You couldn’t make it?

Watch the full recordings in our dedicated YouTube playlist. There you will find:

More materials

Below you can find the outline of the event with the various panellists, each linked to their interventions, as well as interview and presentation when available.

Welcome & Introduction by host and moderator

Part 1 – SCIENCE

Part 2 – ECONOMY



17 Nov
Preliminary Program 

Welcome & Introduction by host and moderator

Martin Häusling, MEP, Greens/EFA
Thomas Waitz, MEP, Greens/EFA
Benny Haerlin, Save Our Seeds
Silke Malorny, State of Hesse (GMO Free Regions network)
Stefan Kaineder, State of Upper Austria

Part 1 - SCIENCE

What is the state of the scientific debate about risk assessment, management and traceability of older and newer genetic engineering technologies? What is the context of sustainable technologies for the food and agricultural transformation?

Margret Engelhard, German Federal Agency for Nature Protection
Eva Gelinsky, Member of the Swiss Federal Ethics Committee on Non-Human Biotechnology ECNH
Christoph Then, Testbiotech

Part 2 - ECONOMY

What is the present and what might be the future situation and economic impact of GMO production and regulation on conventional and organic non-GM production, processing, trade, retail and consumption?

Heike Moldenhauer, ENGA, European Non-GMO Industry Association
Jan Plagge, president of IFOAM Organics Europe and Bioland Germany
Fabrizio Fabbri, European Community of Consumer Co-operatives
Jörg Rohwedder, Foodwatch International
Tia Loftsgard, Canadian Organic Trade Association


What are the political options regarding the EU Commissions proposal to overhaul the present GMO legislation? How to ensure transparency, precaution and socio-ecological transformation?

Claire Bury, EU Commission, Deputy Director General DG Sante
Benoît Biteau, MEP
Sarah Wiener, MEP
Maria Arena, MEP
Thomas Waitz, MEP
Michele Rivasi, MEP
Pascal Durand, MEP
Silke Malorny, State of Hesse (GMO Free Regions network)
Mute Schimpf, Friends of the Earth Europe
Aina Bartmann, Nordic GMO Network
Pat Thomas, Beyond GM UK
Nina Holland, Corporate Europe Observatory

RECEPTION & Standing Snacks

Drinks, bites and networking in front of the meeting room

I accept I do not accept