Nobel laureates and scientists rally for new genomic techniques in the European Parliament

January 19, 2024

European seed sector


Plant breeding innovation

35 Nobel Laureates and over 1,000 Scientists have joined forces, urging Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) to champion new genomic techniques (NGTs) in the fight against climate crisis and food insecurity.

Addressing MEPs directly, the coalition emphasizes the critical need for a science-driven approach in the current era of environmental challenges, embracing NGTs to revolutionize agriculture.

NGTs offer a swift and precise alternative to conventional breeding, especially for climate-resilient crops. The coalition argues that in the face of a climate emergency, waiting for traditional breeding methods is a luxury we cannot afford.

The call extends to crops with challenging genetic characteristics, such as fruit trees and potatoes, where NGTs could play a pivotal role in reducing dependency on harmful pesticides. The scientific community highlights the potential for NGTs to make crops more disease-resistant through targeted genetic edits, aligning with ambitious goals of pesticide reduction while ensuring farmers’ yields.

Moreover, the coalition sees the draft law on the regulation of NGT plants as a crucial step toward enhancing environmental sustainability in food, farming, and energy and they emphasize that responsible use of NGTs could significantly contribute to a more resilient, environmentally conscious, and food-secure future.

Beyond agriculture, NGTs offer promise for innovative medical solutions and economic prosperity. As a recent report suggests that failure to embrace NGTs could cost the European economy 300 billion euros annually across various sectors, the scientists urge MEPs to engage with the majority of farmers and experts, rejecting anti-science lobbying and call for a decision grounded in the overwhelming scientific evidence supporting NGTs, positioning the EU as a global leader in evidence-based policymaking.