Crop Biotech Update

Public Consultation on EU Proposal on NGTs Opens in Ireland

September 13, 2023

A public consultation on the European Commission's proposals on New Genomic Techniques (NGTs) has opened. The proposal which was released on July 5, 2023, will have significant impacts on Europe's seed companies, farmers, and vegetable growers. The proposal suggests that plants resulting from targeted mutagenesis and cisgenesis be categorized separately from genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and introduces a notification process for “conventional-like” category 1 plants to confirm their status.

Currently, plants produced using NGTs in the European Union are subject to the same rules as GMOs. Under the proposed legislation, plants produced using NGTs that could also occur naturally or by conventional breeding will be subject to a verification procedure, based on criteria set in the proposal. The plants that meet these criteria are treated like conventional plants and therefore exempted from the requirements of the GMO legislation. These plants will not require risk assessment, and they can be labeled in the same way as conventional plants.

For all other NGT plants, the requirements of the current GMO legislation would apply. This means that they are subject to risk assessments, and they can only be put on the market following an authorization procedure. Detection methods and tailored monitoring requirements will be applied to these plants. The new proposal only concerns plants produced by targeted mutagenesis and cisgenesis and their food and feed products. It does not include plants obtained by transgenesis, as such techniques remain subject to the existing GMO legislation.

The members of the public can submit their views on the proposals over a three-week period up to September 25, 2023.

For more details, read the article in Farmers Journal.

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