Crop Biotech Update

EU Health Commissioner Calls for New Legislation for Plant Breeding Innovations

April 3, 2019

The new plant breeding innovations need new European Union legislation that considers the latest advanced technologies, said EU Health Commissioner Vytenis Andriukaitis. He said this considering the massive manipulation and "scare-mongering" on the issue.

"From my point of view, we need a new legal regulatory framework for these new techniques," Andriukaitis said, suggesting that the issue will be discussed by the new European Commission after the May elections.

The European Court of Justice (ECJ) decided in July 2018 that organisms obtained by mutagenesis, or gene editing, plant breeding technique are genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and should, in principle, fall under the GMO Directive. Andriukaitis said the ECJ had been asked to interpret a law , the GM legislation, which was implemented 20 years ago and was referring to old techniques, without consideration for the latest advances in the field. He also rejected the claim of most environmentalists that multinational companies are behind the application of biotechnology, emphasizing the example of Bangladeshi farmers who used biotechnology and produce good crops to feed their families without using pesticides.

Read the original article from Euractiv.