Now you see it, now you don’t: How EFSA and BfR reached a different decision than the IARC Working Group on glyphosate.
Presentation by CSS member Prof. Dr. Christopher Portier, Senior Collaborating Scientist with the Environmental defense Fund and former member of numerous WHO/IARC scientific committees.
Published by: CSS, ENSSER, VDW
Causality in Biology Conference
WHAT CAUSES WHAT IN LIFE? Explaining today's major challenges
A public conference about the riddles of cause and effect
Friday 26 and Saturday 27 November 2021 – Bern on site and online
The COVID crisis, endocrine disrupting substances, genetically engineered organisms, climate change, etc.: all major challenges of today demand our understanding. Science does its best to oblige – yet is often criticised about its attempts. The understanding of 'causes' is at the core of scientific investigations and of public policy. It underlies all current efforts to face the big ecosystemic challenges. But upon closer inspection, it exposes widely different views of what causes what.
Eight scientists will share their views with the audience in the two-day public conference "Context, Causality and Consequences". One of the speakers is Denis Noble, author of "Dance to the tune of life: Biological relativity" and other books revolutionising our view of organisms and genomes. Much time is allotted to questions and discussion with the audience.
Fierce discussion regularly arises around different evaluations of the 'same' evidence. What underlies these different evaluations? One may ask what the biological influencers of causality are. Is it about material entities (e.g. genes), or also about interactions, relationships, and context (from subcellular to ecological)? What causes habituation and learning, and in which way do these influence the appearance of causality (in gene expression, disease and other phenomena)? What do we mean when we call something a cause: is it a 'difference-maker', a mechanism, a disposition? What other factors does it need to achieve its 'effect'?
Physics has framed and justified causality in robust and unifying 'conservation principles' (energy, momentum etc.). In biology and ecology, it is much more problematic to understand and verify supposed causal relations. Sources of disagreement and confusion – not just in science, but also in policy – are implicit paradigms and assumptions, different types of argumentation, value based choices, outright dogmas and disciplinary conventions of toxicologists, endocrinologists, epidemiologists, biologists, ecologists and lawyers.
Organised by European Network of Scientists for Social and Environmental Responsibility, Critical Scientists Switzerland, Mariolopoulos-Kanaginis Foundation for the Environmental Sciences & Association des amis de la génération Thunberg
Stellungnahme zur Revision des Gentechgesetzes: öffentlicher Brief ans Parlament
- Press Releases
An die Mitglieder des Parlaments
Bern, Sept./Nov. 2021
Revision des Gentechnikgesetzes
Sehr geehrte Parlamentarier*innen des National- und Ständerats
Gerne machen wir Sie als Verein kritischer Wissenschaftler*innen aus der ganzen Schweiz auf unsere Position bezüglich der aktuellen Revision des Gentechnikgesetzes und dem regulatorischen Umgang mit neuen Verfahren der Genomeditierung mit CRISPR-Cas und ähnlichen Tools aufmerksam:
Die Critical Scientists Switzerland (CSS) begrüssen die Verlängerung des Anbaumoratoriums. Organismen, die mit neuen Gentechnikverfahren produziert wurden, müssen dem geltenden Gentechnikgesetz (GTG) unterstellt werden und entsprechend den dort geltenden Vorgaben (Vorsorgeprinzip, Risikobewertung, Step-by-Step-Verfahren, Kennzeichnung, Monitoring) reguliert werden.
Prise de position sur la révision de la loi sur le génie génétique : lettre publique au Parlement
- Press Releases
Aux membres du Parlement
Berne, Sept./Nov. 2021
Révision de la loi sur le génie génétique
Chers parlementaires du Conseil national et du Conseil des Etats
En tant qu'association de scientifiques critiques de toute la Suisse, nous avons le plaisir d'attirer votre attention sur notre position concernant la révision actuelle de la Loi sur le génie génétique (LGG) et le traitement réglementaire des nouvelles techniques d'édition du génome utilisant CRISPR-Cas et des outils similaires :
Critical Scientists Switzerland (CSS) se félicite de la prolongation du moratoire sur les cultures commerciales d’OGM. Les organismes produits à l'aide de nouvelles techniques de génie génétique doivent être soumis à la LGG en vigueur et réglementés conformément aux exigences qui y sont énoncées (principe de précaution, évaluation des risques, procédures par étapes, étiquetage, surveillance).
Agrobiodiversity and participatory plant breeding for an agroecological transformation of agriculture?
This workshop will include several presentations about international and Swiss projects on participatory plant breeding, agroecological research, and grain legumes. Additionally, there will be a focus on the exchange between and networking of different actors within Switzerland.
When? Tuesday, 2 November 2021, 13:30-17:30
Where? Kirchgemeindehaus Steigerhubel, Steigerhubelstrasse 65, 3008 Bern
In 2021, CSS together with Getreidezüchtung Peter Kunz and semnar / saatgutpolitik & wissenschaft started a four-year interdisciplinary research project on participatory plant breeding and the cultivation of grain legumes began in Switzerland. We want to use this as an opportunity to enter an exchange with other (inter)national projects on the topics of agroecological research and plant breeding as well as to identify synergies. The event will be held in English and is aimed a professional audience. A non-professional translation into German is possible with prior registration.
A Distortion of Science and a Danger to Public and Environmental Safety
- Press Releases
Critical Scientists Switzerland (CSS) and the European Network of Scientists for Social and Environmental Responsibility (ENSSER) have published a scientific critique in response to the German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina and the European Academies Science Advisory Council (EASAC) demanding in recent statements that the EU stops regulating 'genome-edited' plants.
Critical Scientists Switzerland (CSS) and the European Network of Scientists for Social and Environmental Responsibility (ENSSER) have analysed two statements by the German Academy of Sciences Leopoldina and the European Academies Science Advisory Council (EASAC) in which both called on the EU Commission to end the regulation of so-called ‘genome-edited’ organisms and also older transgenic genetically modified organisms (GMOs). ENSSER and CSS found both statements to be seriously lacking in scientific objectivity and rigour. The literature quoted by Leopoldina and EASAC was selected to support their preconceived conclusion. We list more than 200 relevant scientific publications which suggest another conclusion. 'Genome editing', just as much as the older transgenic techniques, demonstrably poses risks to the environment and human health. Moreover, the relative ease of use and low cost of CRISPR, the best-known and most widely used 'genome editing' tool, gives rise to a considerably higher potential for dual use, abuse and accidental misuse. The application of 'genome editing' as gene drives (which are intended to permanently modify, replace or eradicate whole populations or species in the wild) is an additional cause for great concern.
Extension of Gene-Tech Moratorium
- New GE techniques
Critical Scientists Switzerland published a statement in response to the Federal consultation process on the extension of the Swiss gene technology moratorium.
The Critical Scienstists Switzerland welcome the planned extension of the moratorium. We fully agree with the Federal report on the planned extension that organisms produced with new gene editing technologies are subject to the current legislation on gene technologies (Gene Technology Act) and are regulated accordingly (precautionary principle, risk assessment, step-by-step procedure, labelling, and monitoring). Despite some inconsistencies of the Federal report highlighted in our statement, Critical Scientists Switzerland generally support the current government policy.