Biotech Updates

Van Montagu: GMO Resistance in Europe is Purely Emotional

October 23, 2013

World Food Prize winner Marc Von Montagu of Ghent University stressed his viewpoints on biotechnology during an interview with Sofia Frazoa of Vida Rural magazine. When asked about the resistance of biotechnology in Europe, he said that the basis of the resistance is purely emotional since no danger has been posed by the technology to human health or the environment. He also said that lack of information is the worst enemy of the Europeans in terms of biotech, and thus his recognition could be an opportunity to amplify the dialogue with the policy makers.

At the same time as the awarding of the WFP winners during the World Food Day, Public Research and Regulation Initiative (PRRI) and various European farmers' organizations released an open letter to the EU institutions about the GMO policies and regulations. According to the letter, the policies are: "continuously intensifying the regulatory system, against mounting scientific evidence on safety; delaying decision making, despite positive EFSA opinions; invoking bans, without scientific justification; and supporting dubious biosafety research." And thus, they invoke the EU institutions and Member States to realign the policies and regulations to achieve better agricultural production for food, feed, and fiber.

Read more on Van Montagu's interview at (Portuguese) and (English). The open letter of PRRI and farmers' organizations is available at