Genetically modified organisms (GMOs) are organisms whose genetic material has been altered using genetic engineering techniques in a way that could not occur in nature.

The summary names of these techniques  are often ‘modern biotechnology’, ‘gene technology’, ’genetic modification’ or ’gene manipulation’. Genetic engineering enables the chosen genes or gene segments of a living organism to be transplanted into another organism conferring it with new traits. Gene transfer is also possible in case of non-related species (for example transplanting a gene from a bacterium into a plant).

Gene technology is still the subject of fierce debate. The rapid development in the field of genetic modifications resulted in little time remaining for the extensive evaluation of potential risks and long-term effects on human health and wildlife. The possible hazards have still not been examined with adequate precision. Long-term assessment of environmental risks, proper toxicology / allergenicity studies and feeding experiments are still needed. The environmental, ecological, sanitary, social and other risks are still not adequately known. Our present knowledge is not enough to realistically judge the possible environmental, ecological, health, social and economic risks of GMOs. Once these organisms make their way into the environment, it is almost impossible to track or remove them. It is therefore very important to preserve our unique natural values and our GMO-free agriculture in Hungary with establishing a GMO-free food chain, while keeping the precautionary principle clearly in view.

In 2006, the five parliamentary parties formulated Hungary's GMO-free strategy and the process of implementation aimed at its realisation in complete agreement. Since then, this strategy has not been changed; moreover, the new Fundamental Law of Hungary, which has been in force since 1 January 2012, includes the pursuit of a GMO-free agriculture.

Hungary's GMO-free policy is mainly based on scientific results that have proven the negative effects of GMOs. We must also keep future generations in mind, the safety of the environment and last but not least the fact that our gradually increasing competitive market advantage and our related economic interests are also partly the result of our GMO-free status.