Crop Biotech Update

EU Agriculture Ministers Fail to Find Compromise on NGTs

December 14, 2023

Agriculture ministers of the European Union have failed to agree on a position on EU plans to relax rules on new genomic techniques (NGTs). The Spanish European Union Council Presidency which will end on December 31, 2023, aimed to seal a deal on the Council's position on the file during a meeting on December 11, but their offering failed to reach the necessary majority for a general approach on NGTs.

Last July, the European Commission released a proposal to loosen the rules on certain NGTs, or gene editing. During the December 11 meeting, ministers were still divided on several points of the legislation, such as the coexistence of NGTs with organic farming and the possibility of patenting new plant varieties.

Spain's Agriculture Minister Luis Planas insisted that the presidency will keep working on the file until 31 December. “We'll continue to work [on this] until the end of our presidency so that the Belgian presidency can hopefully conclude the trilogues with success,” Planas said.

For more details, read the article in Euractiv.

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