No wonder there are increasing pressures (2) by member states such as the Czech Republic, Romania, Lithuania, Sweden and Italy to reconsider the EU rules leading to the 2018 European Court of Justice decision on genetic plant breeding techniques.
The response of the Greens European Free Alliance group to these pressures can best be characterized as stormy. The EFA has come out swinging in the arena of public discourse with a report (4) that includes a few pages of claims and many more pages of personal accusation.
No matter the emotional thunder, neither the report’s assertions nor its accusations hold water.
Its claims about the effects of genetic engineering are that it produces uncontrollable, unintended and unsafe mutations in cells, well beyond the ones found naturally or in standard mutagenic breeding (as in, induced via radiation or chemical reaction). It would be better to stick to organic farming with organic plants instead.
Yet these claims do not measure up to the overwhelming evidence (5) (weighing thousands of studies over a 21 year period) that gene edited plants reduce (rather than increase) the need for pesticides (6), are less prone to disease (7) and are more reliable than older plant breeding methods (8). Even more critical analyses of studies (9) found no evidence of them being unsafe for humans.