Choice For Europe - Consumers Hungry For Facts, Not Media Stunts
Brussels 6 October 2010
Contrary to the one-sided messages being produced by anti-GMO campaigners, evidence shows that consumers want more information about GMOs. Recent surveys show that there is little apprehension about GMOs in Europe, where more than 3 out of 4 Europeans surveyed believe that the EU should encourage its farmers to take advantage of the benefits of biotechnology.
EuropaBio believes that Europeans will benefit most from factual information rather than the misinformation and publicity stunts by groups ideologically opposed to this technology and to scientific progress in agriculture. Choice for Europe (www.choiceforeurope.com) offers science-based answers about GM crops and food, dispelling the same old tired myths. Europeans have the right to clear, accurate and scientifically supported information so that they can make up their own minds rather than being dictated to by organisations that claim speak on behalf of all consumers. Moreover, it is irresponsible to limit farmers’ choices, particularly since GM crops can help address the urgent challenge global food security by producing higher yields on less land.
EuropaBio Director for Agricultural Biotechnology, Carel du Marchie Sarvaas, commented on the petition: “Official surveys that ask serious questions of European citizens and take a statistically relevant assessment demonstrate that there is not widespread concern about GMOs. This petition has been orchestrated by vehemently anti-GMO groups, and EuropaBio does not feel that this accurately reflects Europeans’ thoughts on the subject. It is widely known that the online petition counter had to be re-set by the organisers on at least one occasion due to inconsistencies in the sign-up process.”
Nathalie Moll, Secretary General of EuropaBio, concluded: “There is still a critical lack of factual information and first-hand experience of GM crops reaching Europeans. Whilst elsewhere, year upon year, more and more GM food is grown, in Europe, where the technology was first invented, we remain stranded on the sidelines. Moving forward, it is our collective responsibility to ensure that this information reaches EU citizens.”
Did you know…
- The use of biotechnology has already reduced the carbon footprint of farming where it has been adopted, saving an estimated 14.4 billion kg of CO2 in 2008 – equivalent to the removal of over 6 million cars from the roads.
- Biotechnology can increase yields by between 6-30% on the same amount of land. This means that we can produce more food without having to plough up land that is currently a haven for biodiversity and used for conservation.
- There are already 14 million farmers around the world growing GM crops and over 90% are small and resource-poor farmers – more than the total number of farmers in the whole of the EU.
- Universities, institutes and companies are field testing crops that require less water (yielding up to 20% more than their non-GM counterparts) and fewer fertilisers, and which are therefore better adapted to the ever-increasing impacts of climate change.
Additional EuropaBio Information Sources
For further information, please contact:
Carel du Marchie Sarvaas
Director, Agricultural Biotechnology
Tel: +32 2 739 11 85
Mobile: +32 473 890 359
Tel: +32 2 739 11 62
GSM: +32 473 334 875
EuropaBio's mission is to promote an innovative and dynamic biotechnology based industry in Europe. EuropaBio, (the European Association for Bioindustries), has 66 corporate and 7 associate members operating worldwide, 4 Bioregions and 22 national biotechnology associations representing some 1800 small and medium sized enterprises. http://www.europabio.org/
Brookes, G., Barfoot, P. (2009) Global impact of biotech crops: socio-economic and environmental effects 1996-2007. (PG Economics Ltd. http://www.pgeconomics.co.uk/pdf/2009globalimpactstudy.pdf)
Special Eurobarometer 336 (2010) Europeans, Agriculture and the Common Agricultural Policy. (http://ec.europa.eu/public_opinion/archives/ebs/ebs_336_en.pdf)