EU Council must support immediate policy action on NGTs

May 21, 2021

Plant breeding innovation

Joint letter

Brussels, 21 May 2021 – Updated 26 May 2021

26 agri-food value chain partners ask the Ministers of the AgriFish Council to support immediate policy action based on the Commission study on NGTs.

The undersigned 26 agri-food value chain partners welcome that the Commission Study on New Genomic Techniques (NGT Study) published on 29 April recognises the potential benefits of NGTs in plants, animals, and microorganisms, in a broad variety of applications.

We support the conclusions of the study that the current GMO legislation in the EU has clear implementation challenges and is no longer fit for purpose. We strongly welcome the Commissions’ intention to initiate in the short term a policy action on plants derived from targeted mutagenesis and cisgenesis. We hope that such a policy initiative will create a more enabling and innovation-friendly environment for products resulting from these breeding methods, while keeping the high standards of EU food and feed production. We count on your support for immediate policy action based on the conclusions of the NGT Study.

We welcome the Commission’s conclusion that a differentiated regulatory approach is needed, which looks at both the process and the product. This needs to take the benefits of these new genomic techniques and the resulting products into account, as is the case in a growing number of countries around the world.

Also, we regard it important to address this topic from a global perspective, taking into account the trade related challenges. This is clearly mentioned in the study in relation to the policy developments around the world and their implications for competitiveness of the EU Agri-Food value chain as well as the enforceability of the ECJ ruling.

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