By ICEAC Chamber of Consults
The basic claim of the request is formulated in the following terms: in case of GMO contamination in non-GMOs crops, especially in absence of national legislation, who is responsible to pay the damage among all the different public and private actors involved in the GMO chain of production, distribution and dissemination?
Genetically modified agricultural plants are presently mainly cultivated in order to facilitate cultivation, e.g. through herbicide resistance and resistance against noxious insects or viruses. In the future, one can also expect a targeted creation of novel properties such as fitness or increased or even novel ingredients. There is a considerable amount of illegal imports of transgenic seed in violation of national moratoriums, and GMOs may also enter into the national production, distribution and cultivation chain through food aid by international organisations where GM food provided contrary to its designation is used as seed. Whenever GMOs are introduced into the environment, spreading is ruled out as a matter of principle. When GMOs are introduced into the environment as seed, food or feed, admixtures with non-GMO products during transport, storage, processing or sale are possible. In the case of food and feed, admixture may also affect the seed chain when food or feed is used as seed. Genetically contaminated seed threatens seed purity requested by the market and necessarily has an adverse effect on the purity of the cultivated plants grown from it. GM plants contained in the crop may, depending on reproduction patterns and persistence, further propagate. By far the most serious problem is seen in the deliberate cultivation of GM plants from GM seeds. Such cultivation may lead to out-crossing through pollen drift and other spreading of GMOs into fields with traditional or organic crops.