Risk Assessment of genetically engineered organisms in the EU and Switzerland (2016-2018)
RAGES stands for Risk Assessment of Genetically Engineered Organisms in the EU and Switzerland and was coordinated by Testbiotech. Project partners included besides Critical Scientists Switzerland also the European Network of Scientists for Social and Environmental Responsibility (ENSSER) and GeneWatch UK, involving more than a dozen experts from five European countries. The RAGES project looked in depth at the European Food Safety Authority's (EFSA) practice for assessing the risks of genetically modified (GM) plants and compiled six reports on the following subjects:
- health risks associated with the consumption of products derived from herbicide tolerant GE plants
- the assessment of environmental risks associated with the cultivation of insecticidal Bt crops
- health risks associated with the consumption of products derived from GE plants with altered nutritional composition
- health risks associated with the consumption of products derived from GE plants with a combination of traits (‘stacked events’)
- environmental risks due to persistence, self-propagation and uncontrolled spread of GE plants
- risk assessment of GE organisms derived from new genetic engineering technologies.
The results point to significant shortcomings in the risk assessment of genetically modified plants in the EU and a substantial contradiction between the legally required safety standards and the reality of the EU approval process.
The project also resulted in two peer-reviewed publications and was concluded with a public workshop in 2019 at the University of Neuchâtel, inviting representatives from the European Food Safety Agency and the EU Parliament. The final results of the project were also presented in Berlin and Brussels. All project results and further details can be found here.