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European Court rules new genetically engineered seeds and foods should be classified and regulated as GMOs

Friends of the Earth U.S. applauds ruling affirming gene editing, other new genetic engineering techniques subject to safety assessment, traceability, labeling

WASHINGTON, DC – The European Court of Justice made a precedent-setting decision today that all new types of genetic engineering techniques and applications to seeds and food need to be regulated as GMOs.

This decision, which was in response to a case filed by Friends of the Earth France, affirms that new genetic engineering techniques like gene editing should be classified under the EU legal definition of GMOs. It also affirms that new genetic engineering techniques must be subject to the same EU safety laws that cover most existing GMOs, to check for their impacts on human health and the environment which include safety assessments, traceability and GMO labeling.

Dana Perls, Senior Food and Agriculture Campaigner at Friends of the Earth U.S, issued the following statement in response:

These genetic engineering techniques could radically change our food system, threatening non-GMO and organic agriculture and the livelihoods that depend on it. We applaud the European Court of Justice for this forward-thinking decision and encourage the USDA to follow its lead. All products made with genetic engineering, including ones made with gene-editing tools like CRISPR, should be regulated, assessed for health and environmental impacts, and labeled.

Communications Contact: Erin Jensen, (202) 222-0722, ejensen@foe.org

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