Commission study on Novel Genomic Techniques confirms the urgent need for policy change

April 29, 2021

Plant breeding innovation


Plant breeding

Press statement

29 April 2021, 12:30Updated 30 April 2021 11:00

Euroseeds welcomes the conclusions of the Commission study on Novel Genomic Techniques. Based on the findings of this study an urgent action from Commission and Member States is needed to allow for a differentiated approach to products derived from innovative plant breeding methods.

The study underlines that plants resulting from Novel Genomic Techniques (NGTs) have the potential to contribute to a more sustainable food system as part of the objectives of the European Green Deal and the Farm to Fork Strategy. At the same time, the study finds that the current GMO legislation, adopted in 2001, is not fit for purpose for these innovative technologies.

The Commission study on Novel Genomic Techniques is the result of an extensive consultation with different stakeholders and Member States. “Euroseeds provided detailed input to the Commission’s consultation underlining the industry’s view that a change of the EU’s regulatory framework is needed to allow for a differentiated legal and practical approach to products derived from innovative plant breeding methods, similar to most other parts of the world”, comments Garlich von Essen, Secretary General at Euroseeds.

The European seed sector as well as EU farmers and other partners from the agri-food value chain and the plant science community have repeatedly underlined the importance and urgency of this subject for the future of more sustainable agriculture and food production, especially in support of the ambitious targets set in the EU’s Farm to Fork and Biodiversity strategies.

“Euroseeds sees the publication of the Commission study as a key step to allow Europe to bring its more than 20-year-old legislation in line with scientific progress. This study should not become a missed opportunity. Commission and Member States must act now and avoid undue lengthy processes”, concludes von Essen

The EU seed sector looks forward to engaging in discussing how the results of the study can now be turned into proposals for concrete policy changes in the coming weeks.


Study on new genomic techniques (pdf)

Press release Commission seeks open debate on New Genomic Techniques as study shows potential for sustainable agriculture and need for new policy