GERMANY; Berlin. In 2019, manufacturers and processors achieved a turnover of around € 8.8 bn. with goods bearing the "Ohne GenTechnik" seal. In the shops, end customers spent around € 11.3 bn. on them. Compared to 2018, this represents an increase of 15%, reports the German Association of Food Without Genetic Engineering (VLOG), which expects consumer spending to rise to at least € 11.8 bn. in 2020.
In the meantime, "OhneGenTechnik" products already account for more than 5% of total food sales in Germany. "After the enormous increase in milk and dairy products, we are now seeing a consolidation of our growth," commented VLOG Managing Director Alexander Hissting on the figures. "Compared to milk, pork still has a lot of ground to cover in order to finally meet consumer expectations for "non-GM" products. Contrary to what consumers assume, 99% of the pigs in Germany are still fed with genetically modified soya.
The German Verband Lebensmittel ohne Gentechnik (VLOG) e.V. represents over 750 food manufacturers and retailers as well as the upstream and downstream sectors of food production. It grants licences for the uniform "Ohne GenTechnik" seal for food produced free of genetic engineering. Over 14,500 foods are currently advertised with this seal.
"In order not to jeopardise the success of the "Ohne Gentechnik" label and to ensure transparency and freedom of choice for consumers in the future, the EU Commission must finally take action and initiate research into detection methods for new genetic engineering products. Economic operators and national authorities must be able to track them down reliably," demands Heike Moldenhauer, EU Policy Advisor of the VLOG in Brussels. "Even though rape and soya are only two plants that are cultivated in two countries, our members must be able to exclude the possibility of genetic contaminations entering their commodity flows via imports from the USA and Canada."
In 2019, the processing industry achieved a turnover of € 8.78 bn. with food products bearing the "Ohne GenTechnik" seal. Milk and dairy products played the most important role with € 6.02 bn. Poultry meat products accounted for € 1.59 bn. (18%) and eggs for around € 850 mill. (9.7%). All figures refer to the sales of the manufacturers. The final consumer expenditure for "Without GenTechnik" products increases by the margin of the food retail trade and the value added tax and is likely to be on average about 27% higher than the manufacturers' turnover, estimates VLOG, and thus amounts to € 11.3 bn.
On the basis of the forecasts of the current licensees alone, the association expects that the "OhneGentechnik" turnover will increase by at least 5% in 2020. The legal basis for the victory is the EG-Gentechnik-Durchführungsgesetz (EGGenTDurchfG). In 2009, the then Federal Minister of Agriculture Ilse Aigner had the uniform "Ohne GenTechnik" seal drafted. In 2010, she transferred licensing and control of the "Ohne GenTechnik" seal exclusively to VLOG.