IFOAM - Organics International calls for governmental recognition of the negative impacts caused by GMOs already released, with corresponding remediation. It also calls attention to the fact that these negative impacts are a symptom of a more systemic problem arising from the dominant agro-industrial economic paradigm that does not heed the Principles of Organic Agriculture.
Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) - every plant, animal, or microorganism that is transformed by genetic engineering - are associated with unsustainable industrial farming. The use of GMOs in food system has many negative environmental and socio-economic effects such as hindering public access to genetic resources and increasing the use and released of toxic compunds, such herbiscides, into the environment. The potential for contamination threatens the GMO-free food chains, and consequently the economic wellbeing of producers and cosnumers.
The current absence of regulation for these new technologies in many parts of the world means that genetically modified plants and animals can be released in the environment with no risk assessment and no information for breeders, farmers and consumers. The organic movement calls on regulators to ensure transparency and traceability, and to safeguard producers’ and consumers’ freedom not to use untested genetic engineering techniques.
Read our position paper on Genetic Engineering and Genetically Modified Organisms.
The GM-free sector is facing new challenges to keep GMOs out of the supply chain. The rapid development of genetic engineering techniques is leading to a level of genetic disruption never experienced before. Scientific studies have shown that the purported greater precision of these newer techniques is a myth, as they may trigger many unintended changes in the genome of the modified organisms.
In November 2017, IFOAM – Organics International adopted a global position which reaffirms that GMOs created through new genetic engineering techniques have no place in organic food and farming systems since they raise similar risks and concerns as for existing GMOs, and should be regulated accordingly. The organic sector re-affirms its commitment to consumers to effectively exclude GMOs from its production systems and urges policy-makers to regulate the use of GMOs obtained by recent techniques.
Read our position paper on Compatibility of Breeding Techniques in Organic Systems