Crop Biotech Update

Experts Urge Conclusion of Discussions at EU Parliament and Council on NGT Proposal

November 15, 2023

The European Commission's (EC) proposal for new genomic techniques (NGTs) sparked a number of discussions on the European Union's (EU) Farm to Fork and Biodiversity strategies. In the recent event “New Genomic Techniques – What Lies Ahead?” organized by Euractiv, a panel featured key representatives from the Commission and various EU stakeholders, shedding light on potential policy advancements for the uptake of NGTs in Europe.

Since the proposal's release on July 5, 2023, the interest in NGTs has increased and engaged not only scientists, plant breeders, and farmers, but EU policymakers and third-country representatives as well. The current formulation of the proposal distinguishes between two NGT-derived plant categories: Category 1 would follow conventional breeding regulations, while Category 2 would fall under GMO regulatory oversight.

During the event, panelists emphasized alignment between the scientific and farming communities regarding agricultural innovation through NGTs. Among them, Klaus Berend,  Acting Director at the EC Directorate-General for Health and Food Safety (SANTE); Euroseeds Secretary General Garlich von Essen; Chair of Seed Working Group at Copa-Cogeca Thor Gunnar Kofoed; and Alliance for Science Director Dr. Sheila Ochugboju discussed NGTs' potential in advancing the EU's Green Deal goals, offering more resilient crops and economic returns for farmers. All the panelists emphasized the urgency to conclude discussions at the Parliament and Council levels promptly, ideally before the current mandate expires.

For more details, read the news release from EuroSeeds.

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