[DIYbio] Eppur si muove!

Dear world,
today i had to read about the European court of justice decision about how they consider mutatgenesis methods to be subject to the GMO legislation.
This legislation builds upon the precautionary principle, a well intended but poorly understood idea to prevent harm from ecosystems and humans of unintended or
careless effects of human technical intervention. For some historic reason this concept is only applied on genetic engineering, not on radioactive mutatenesis of crops or other even more crude methods such as road construction spreading mutagenic toluene widely and uncontrolled into ecosystems, cities and farmland.
It argues, that the more you can possible know about the method you employ, the more care you have to take to prevent future harm, putting the burdon of proof on  the one who takes action.

The decission of the European court however argues, that even methods which cause mutations which are so mild that they cant even be distinguished from natural mutation rates also have to obey the same reasoning. They argue they could be potentially very dangerous, without even giving a reference on where they base that perspective on. The position of the catholic church and the vatican is so much wider and more progressive in comparison! 

It appears that the judges have not understood what evolution is, and that such mutations and change of genetic code is a very normal occurence, happening billion fold in the very bodies of the humans acting as judges for this court in the very same moment they singed off this ruling. They obviously have not understood what already Charles Darwin laid out in his evolution theory in the 19th century. Or Carl Woese in the 1980ies with his description of horizontal gene transfer. 

This decission is an insult to anyone who thinks rationally and considers the sciences as a source of arguments to shape his or her view on the world and compares the ignorance of the inquisition who silenced Galileo who claimed the world is not the center of the universe.  As if nature was static and would never change, as if it would break apart if there would be a willfully and knowingly induce change. This idea sounds to me as absurd, as if the judges assume the world was created 5000 years ago and dinosaur skeletons where put by some aliens into the ground just to make us wonder where they came from...How times have changed since Galileo, who would have guessed!

Not that the ruling puts the decission on how to actually handle those complex new technologies back to national legislation, thus further fragmenting the market and economic viability and usability of the knowledge on evolution and nature. It will result in different interpretations of this existentially constituting insights into how our very existance works into different nations, where language and regulatory barriers will separate the european nations in their self perception. Obivously Europe shares a continuous ecosystem, as such it will only cause a lot of trouble with genetic material crossing borders....I can already anticipate a witch hunt on people from other nations with a different perception on nature...

I call this decission pure ignorance and weakness of mind and spirit. I expected much moreintellect and moral integrity of such an institution which should be able to shoulder decissions for more than 500million people, the biggest economic zone in the world and an entire continent and its ecosystem. 
The decission is not even consistent with the notion of the precautionary principle itself, which says the world has to be left behind to the following generations in a livable condition.

I consider myself as a representative of the first generation which followed after the introduction of the precautionary principle. I was educated in molecular biology and now want to be able to determine what is a desired or non desired or dangerous and non dangerous intervention into nature after the best of my understanding and knowledge. The judges deny me to use my education and view on the world, make a living with my learned profession impossible and deny me independent decission using my own ability to judge whats right and wrong. Instead they sheepishly refer to the intention of the precautionary principle in a hard interpretation of it.
This hard interpretation puts an impossible burdon of evidence on the person willing to make the slightest modification in nature. It in return only empowers individuals and groups which play on fear and ignorance which injustifiably exaggerate non existing dangers of using this knowledge, in the same time drawing a fairy tale narrative on what the "right" nature is. This has no grounding in any reasonable science and is purely founded in ideology and religious beliefs. The voice of science and reason is smothered this way. If the legislation will not change, the world will evolutionarily drift apart in ecosystems which dont follow the precautionary principle and actively engage in shaping the genetic makeup of their nature, and Europe and countries and connected ecosystems which do.

Personally i was never in favour of such separatist development like the Brexit. Unfortunately the european Parliament is set up so weak that it cannot even sugggest new laws, which could correct this epochal failure of the judges in this court. Only a corrupt and intransparent pseudo governemnt called "EU comission" now can fix this problem. Considering their miserable political performance in other fields i have no hope though. Thus, i wish the Brexiteers best of luck. Dont accept any decissions of this court! This institution has lost its credibility for me.

A sad day for science, a sad day for Europe.
Eppur si muove.

Rüdiger Trojok

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