As part of our series of Webinars, ProTerra Foundation held a session, on November 9th , about the sustainability in the European context and the current challenges in the regulation of gene-edited crops.
The first speaker, Willem Klaassens, IDH Director Markets & VSA, BU Landscapes, spoke about the IDH European Soy Programme and Insights on European responsible and deforestation-free soy consumption. His presentation included information about the second European Soy Monitor report, released in May 2020 and the latest trends. He pointed out the importance of combining efforts and joining forces for sustainability, as fragmented approaches may lead to isolated projects. He highlighted the benefits of SourceUp, a recently launched online platform that connects committed buyers to stakeholders (farmers, producers, government and civil society) in sourcing areas. Committed buyers can support Compacts, monitor progress and deliver on their sustainability commitments. Overall, he emphasized the need to collaborate better and have clear comparable results to know where we stand today and the challenges we have to face to be able to improve.
The second presentation was given by Heike Moldenhauer, EU Policy Advisor on Non-GMO Food and Feed at VLOG. She provided insights about two very complex issues, that create big challenges for both public and private levels: Non-GMO Labelling in Europe, and Current Challenges in the Regulation of Gene Edited Crops. As of June 2020, non-GMO labelling was in place in eight European Union countries (Austria, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Poland and Slovenia), besides Switzerland and Bosnia and Herzegovina. It closes the gap in EU GMO legislation, that states that only GM feed is subject to GMO labelling, but this does not cover food products like milk, meat and eggs. Non-GMO labelling supports consumers in their choice for a GMO-free agriculture in Europe. From the perspective of the non-GMO sector, it is important to keep gene-edited crops regulated as GMOs, perform risk assessments before they enter the market and meet consumer demand.
The last presenter was Audrey Rensen-van Lijden, Quality Manager at Cefetra and Baywa Agri Supply & Trade. She talked about the issues the private sector is facing: “Regulating gene editing: challenges for the international trade”. She showed important international commodity flows (corn, soybean and soybean meal) and the consequences GMO regulation had in the last 20 years for international trade, caused by the regulatory differences in the world. Other points raised were related to the regulation of gene editing under the current GMO legislation and the effects this may cause in the future.
➡️ Stay tuned for our next webinars planned on March 1st, 2021 and May 10th, 2021 both at 3pm CET.
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