The EU future of new plant breeding techniques

New plant breeding techniques (NPBTs) emerged as an innovative agricultural solution in the last decade, allowing the development of new plant varieties by modifying the DNA of the seeds and plant cells. [Shutterstock]

New plant breeding techniques (NPBTs) emerged as an innovative agricultural solution in the last decade, allowing the development of new plant varieties by modifying the DNA of the seeds and plant cells.

In July 2018, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) ruled that organisms obtained by mutagenesis, or gene editing, plant breeding technique are genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and should, in principle, fall under the GMO Directive.

The court ruling sparked intense debate. The industry and farmers said the decision would deal a severe blow to the EU farming sector competitiveness while environmentalists hailed it, saying “hidden GMOs” were prevented from entering Europe through the back door.

But according to EU Health Commissioner Vytenis Andriukaitis, there was too much manipulation and “scare-mongering” around the issue. The ‘new plant breeding techniques’ need new EU legislation that takes into account the latest advanced technologies, he recently told EURACTIV.com.

Andriukaitis: New plant breeding techniques need new regulatory framework

The ‘new plant breeding techniques’ need new EU legislation that takes into account the latest advanced technologies, EU Health Commissioner Vytenis Andriukaitis told EURACTIV.com, adding there was too much manipulation and “scare-mongering” around the issue.

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