Conventional-like NGT plants in need of an enabling regulatory framework: Plant ETP Open Letter

April 21, 2023



European seed sector


Plant breeding innovation

Plant ETP, a multistakeholder organization representing the European seed and breeding sector, the farming community, and academia, has issued an open letter to the European Commission’s Executive Vice-President and Commissioners urging them to regulate plants obtained using certain New Genomic Techniques (NGTs) as conventional. According to the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), these “conventional-like” NGT plants do not pose any new hazards compared to conventionally bred plants. Plant ETP believes that these plants, which cannot be distinguished from their conventional counterparts, should not undergo a differentiated approach.

The organization notes that if conventional-like NGT plants are regulated as conventional, they would be fully compatible with the EU organic farming legislation. There is a growing number of stakeholders within the organic sector who share this view and would like the option to use conventional-like NGT plants while maintaining their organic certification. It is also essential to acknowledge that a high proportion of farmers supplying the organic sector manage both organic and conventional production.

Plant ETP recommends moving away from a separation of conventional and organic production systems and focusing on synergies to leverage the best of both worlds. The seed and breeding sector is committed to providing transparency on whether NGTs were used during variety development, allowing growers and supply chains to exclude varieties obtained by NGTs from their production or supply chains, if they wish to do so, without hindering their use by others.