Science moves forward: ENVI Committee backs NGTs proposal

January 24, 2024

European seed sector


Plant breeding innovation

The European Parliament’s Environment Committee’s positive vote on the New Genomic Techniques (NGTs) proposal marks a significant advancement in fostering plant breeding innovation for a sustainable EU agriculture and food system.

The proposal introduces a new regulatory framework, distinguishing NGTs like targeted mutagenesis and cis-genesis from transgenic GMOs. Under the proposed regime, NGT plants would be regulated more akin to those derived from traditional breeding methods.

Euroseeds Secretary General Garlich von Essen stressed the importance of supporting innovation for sustainability, emphasizing its potential to enhance Europe’s leadership in plant breeding and ensure seed security.

This vote sends an important signal to Europe’s breeders, farmers and citizens. Driving sustainability goes hand in hand with the need to support and enable innovation.” Von Essen emphasized that “this legislative initiative has the potential to boost Europe’s progress and leadership in plant breeding and ensure high-quality seed security, supporting our transition towards a resilient, truly sustainable food system.

With widespread support from agri-food associations, research institutions, NGOs, and Nobel laureates, the proposal now moves towards plenary vote adoption in February, representing a potential game-changer for Europe’s farmers and consumers.