European Federation of Green Parties Resolution on Genetically Modified Foods




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"Monsanto should not have to vouchsafe the safety of biotech food," said Phil Angell, Monsanto's director of corporate communications. "Our interest is in selling as much of it as possible. Assuring its safety is the FDA's job." 
- New York Times, October 25, 1998

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7 December 2000


The Natural Law Parties of Europe sponsored a tour of Dr Steven Druker, a US lawyer, last spring throughout Europe as part of their Global Campaign to Ban GM Foods. Dr Druker met during the tour with many politicians, including the leader of the Swedish Green Party. She invited Dr Druker to submit a resolution for the Council Meeting of the European Federation of Green Parties (EFGP) in Stockholm 24-26 November. The Council adopted the resolution without additions or revisions.

RESOLUTION adopted at the 10th EFGP Council Meeting 24-26 November 2000, Stockholm, Old Parliament Building


The Green Parties of Europe acknowledge there are scientifically justified concerns about the safety of all foods produced through recombinant DNA technologies and that these genetically modified (GM) foods pose unique hazards to the health of both the consumer and the environment. We also acknowledge that various governmental bodies entrusted with safeguarding public and environmental health have been failing to regulate GM foods in a responsible manner. We hereby call upon these bodies to face the facts about the hazards and uphold their duties by taking more responsible actions. Following is a summary of the hazards of GM foods and the inadequacies of governmental response, with a list of our specific demands for remedial action.

A. Hazards of GM Foods

1. Numerous experts assert that recombinant DNA technology differs from conventional breeding and entails a distinct set of risks. Among these risks is the potential for generating new toxins, carcinogens and allergens.

2. Because such harmful substances can be novel and never before seen in any of the species involved in the gene transfer, they are essentially unpredictable and cannot be adequately detected by the compositional analyses currently in use.

3. U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) files reveal that its own staff scientists also recognised the unique hazards of GM foods, warned about them in numerous memos to administrators, and asserted the need for toxicological feeding tests using the whole food to screen for the presence of unexpected harmful substances. (Photocopies of memos by FDA experts are posted at www.biointegrityorg )

4. Renowned experts have submitted declarations to a U.S. federal court that GM foods could be dangerous and that there is no reliable evidence showing any have been demonstrated safe through appropriate tests. The tests currently relied on in the EU do not adequately screen for the range of potential negative effects identified by these and many other experts (including those at the FDA).

5. The inadequacy of the current tests is evident from the failure of the OECD conference on GM foods in February, 2000 to meet a formal challenge to provide evidence that even one GM food has been demonstrated safe.

6. Besides unique risks to humans, GM foods pose unique risks to the environment: creation of super weeds and super viruses, destruction of biodiversity, pollution of soil, and many others.

B. Irresponsible Government Behaviour

7. Despite the numerous warnings of its scientists, the U.S. FDA's official policy statement of May, 1992 claims: "The agency is not aware of any information showing that foods derived by these new methods differ from other foods in any meaningful or uniform way...." It also claims GM foods can be marketed without having been tested because there is overwhelming agreement among scientists that they are safe.

8. If the facts about the unique risks and the scientific concerns had been acknowledged, no GM foods would yet have come market in the U.S. or Europe, since if the U.S. had not approved them, the EU would not have done so. It is only through deception that GM foods were introduced, and their continued sale depends on continuation of the deception.

9. Consequently, the marketing of GM foods in the EU is contrary to the guiding principle of the EU's food law, which is based on the precautionary principle. (e.g. Green Paper: General Principles of Food Law in the EU, 30 April 1997, in which the European Commission states it "...will be guided in its risk analysis by the precautionary principle, in cases where the scientific basis is insufficient or some uncertainty exists.")

10. Further, large quantities of meat, milk and eggs from animals raised on GM feed are currently sold throughout Europe without any requirement for labelling. U.S. FDA experts stated these products could be hazardous, but their warnings were covered up and the tests they called for have not been conducted. (See FDA document #10 at )

THEREFORE, in light of the above facts, we, the Green Parties of Europe, call upon the European Parliament and European Commission: (a) to promptly remove all GM foods (including GM animal feeds and products derived from them) from EU markets, (b) to ban their further introduction, and (c) to clearly resolve that no GM food will be considered for future approval unless and until it has been definitively demonstrated to be safe for the consumer and for the environment. If the EC or EP believes that a particular GM food has in fact been established safe, we demand they provide all original testing data, along with an explanation of how such tests have monitored for the presence of unintended, novel harmful substances. Unless we receive such documentation within 30 days for a particular product, we will conclude it has not been demonstrated safe. Further, we plan to submit any data we might be given to independent experts for review. Each distinct gene insertion must be evaluated independently, even for varieties of the same species produced by one manufacturer.

We further call on every national government in Europe to: (a) take similar measures and (b) redirect funding of agricultural biotechnology to research on and implementation of safe and sustainable farming practices that do not rely on genetic engineering or synthetic fertilizers and pesticides.

Stockholm 26 November 2000

European Federation of Green Parties (EFGP)
Arnold Cassola, General Secretary
Marian Coyne, spokeswoman
Pekka Haavisto, spokesman

European Parliament - room PHS 2C85
rue Wiertz, 1047 Brussels, Belgium
ph: 32 2 284 51 35, fax : 32 2 284 91 35
email :


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