79% of European citizens in favor want the removal of the bans on new plant biotechnologies applied to plants and agriculture. This is the result of the public consultation, launched by the European Commission, which analyzed 2,200 contributions received from 23 member states of the European Union and from 28 countries that are not part of the European Union. Nearly 8 out of 10 Europeans believe that today’s rules of GMO legislation are not adequate for plants obtained by targeted mutagenesis or cisgenesis. 61% of those who responded to the consultation expressed their support for a different approach to risk assessment than the current one in the context of GMOs and, of these, 34% believe that the assessment should have requirements adapted to the characteristics and risk profile of a plant. 23 per cent of responses came from Italy, the second country that sent the most contributions after Germany. “The agri-food supply chain is asking to open as soon as possible the experimentation in the field of these precious genetic improvement tools, which can help tackle the crisis caused by climate change, the challenge of sustainability and the serious production shortage of our country”. explains Chiara Fossato, spokesperson for Cibo per la Mente and general secretary of Uniceb.
According to Fossato “the results of the public consultation represent an important starting point, because they show that public opinion is willing to support the modification of the legislation on NGTS”. From his point of view, “NGTS can contribute to environmental and economic sustainability to a sector that is called upon to guarantee both the production of food for citizens and the right income for farmers, despite the stakes introduced by the European Farm to Fork strategy” . What to do then? “Italian research has developed widespread know-how, yet we are lagging behind in Europe in investments. It is necessary – concludes Fossato – to invest immediately and strengthen the collaboration between public and private: we have the solutions closed in the drawers, now we must be able to experiment and apply them ».
Food for the Mind is an appeal and a project of the Italian agri-food chain aimed at European decision-makers to raise awareness of public opinion and institutions on the need for investment in innovation and research in the field of agriculture and the food industry. The manifesto of intentions and proposals was signed by 15 business associations: Aisa – Federchimica, Agrofarma – Federchimica, API, Assalzoo, Assica, Assitol, Assobiotec- Federchimica, Assofertilizzanti- Federchimica, Assosementi, Compag, CIA, Confagricoltura, Copagri, UNAItalia and Uniceb.