Independent Expert

Carel du Marchie Sarvaas

Former Director of Agricultural Biotechnology, EuropaBio

Carel du Marchie Sarvaas is the Former Director for Agricultural Biotechnology at EuropaBio. EuropaBio is the European Association of Biotechnology Industries. It has 66 corporate members, 7 associate members and 22 national biotech associations representing +1800 biotech SMEs from across the EU. EuropaBio is active in the three main areas of biotechnology: industrial, pharmaceutical and agricultural. In agriculture, it represents all main producers of biotech seeds.

Du Marchie Sarvaas, a Dutch national, has many years of experience as a senior public affairs and communications advisor in Brussels, The Hague, and Washington DC. He has broad knowledge of the key issues facing the industry with extensive experience of designing and implementing integrated public affairs and communication strategies.

From this Expert

Posted On: Tuesday, 8/20/2013 7:23 pm
A: For three years France was the second largest GM cultivator in the EU, before the government introduced a moratorium in 2008. Since then, the highest French Court, Conseil d’Etat, and the European Court of Justice have repeatedly declared the ban illegal. As a consequence, French farmers are denied the possibility to choose GM technology. The EU’s official food safety watchdog has consistently upheld its scientific opinions on the products affected by national bans in Europe, repeating that... Continue Reading
Posted On: Monday, 8/05/2013 2:48 am
A: In the European Union, GM labelling is mandatory for all food and feed products consisting of, containing, or obtained from GM plants when this is above 0.9% of that ingredient. The 0.9% threshold was determined by political co-decision and has no foundation in any scientific finding or fact. GM labelling has nothing to do with food safety. It is for commercial purposes in order to distinguish between GM, conventional and organic products when they are sold to consumers as they correspond... Continue Reading
Posted On: Sunday, 8/04/2013 4:12 pm
A: Regarding Europe: European Commission funded-research from 130 projects involving 500 independent research groups over 25 years concluded that, “There is, as of today, no scientific evidence associating GMOs with higher risks for the environment or for food and feed safety than conventional plants and organisms.” The GMO stalemate in Europe is a political issue. The GM approval process in Europe requires a political vote after the scientific phase (safety assessment). Nine countries in... Continue Reading
Posted On: Tuesday, 7/30/2013 3:38 pm
A: You raise several questions. I’ll address each of them individually. Someone claims that 61 countries require GMO labeling. There is a quasi-generalised requirement to label products of GM origin that are not considered to be substantially equivalent to their conventional counterpart, with a view that the consumer be informed of novel traits and food properties to facilitate informed choices. Labeling can be mandatory (Australia, EU, Japan, Brazil, China) or voluntary (Canada, Hong Kong,... Continue Reading
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