Genetically modified food on the plate is something the vast majority of Germans have vehemently rejected so far. In virtually no other country is resistance to the use of technology in agriculture and the food industry so strong. But now resistance appears to be crumbling, as a new poll shows. At present, only 65% are against relaxing the rules for approving and labeling crops grown using new methods of genetic engineering. This is shown by a representative survey by Verband Lebensmittel ohne Gentechnik (VLOG), which the SZ has received and which will be published on Wednesday. In previous surveys, the rejection rate was well over 80%.
VLOG Managing Director Alexander Hissting does not see this as a sign of questioning on the part of German citizens. “In view of the differentiated question of new methods of genetic engineering, this is still a very clear rejection,” he underlines. The background is that agricultural associations, businesses and many scientists want to use new genetic engineering processes such as Crispr-CAS and are calling for a relaxation of the strict regulation of green genetic engineering in the European Union. This was also recently suggested by the European Commission.
But the subject remains very controversial. According to the survey, the subject of genetic engineering also plays an important role in the next general elections for 43% of those questioned, and for 22% even a “very important”.
The survey commissioned by VLOG also shows that the treatment of genetic engineering is not only a concern of regular voters of the Greens, but also of other parties. As a result, 49% of FDP supporters have also spoken out against the deregulation of genetic engineering and only 40% in favor, while the party itself wants to relax the rules in line with its electoral platform. According to the survey, supporters of the left are most strongly against the relaxation of the rules, with a rejection rate here of 75%.
“The parties and parliamentary groups in the new Bundestag must take this seriously and align their policies accordingly,” demands Hissting. “Our investigation shows that genetic engineering on fields and plates is still an important topic for many people.” In his opinion, the results also clearly show that the deregulation of genetic engineering sought by the European Commission is clearly rejected.
The polling company Civey interviewed 2,500 people on behalf of VLOG at the end of July.