Publication date: 01/01/2018


This IFOAM position paper states that “New genetic engineering technologies …are not compatible with organic farming and must not be used in organic breeding or organic production.” It goes on to list the specific techniques, and calls for “clear legal definitions to be in place which are regularly updated”.

The paper also states “Products obtained through genetic engineering processes should not be released into the environment. In any case such releases should not take place without a prior rigorous, multistakeholder designed and agreed risk assessment protocol that includes input from the organic sector and like-minded movements, and an assessment of the possibility to prevent the presence of such products in organic products and GMO-free products.”

IFOAM asks for the ‘Polluter Pays’ principle to be maintained. This means “On-going costs and harms to organic and non-GMO supply chains from contamination by these new techniques … should be borne by the developers and/or the company that puts the product on the market.” Although the principle is one of the EU directives, sadly it is not guaranteed in post-Brexit Britain.

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