Crop Biotech Update

European Scientists Join Forces to Enable Potential of Genome Editing

July 31, 2019
Source: IST Austria

On July 25, 2018, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) ruled that plants developed through genome editing are also genetically modified organisms (GMOs) which are not exempt from GMO legislation. The EU GMO legislation issued in 2001 no longer correctly reflects the current state of scientific research and knowledge, according to the Open Statement for the use of genome editing for sustainable agriculture and food production in the EU, released by the European scientific community on July 25, 2019.

In the Open Statement, scientists from 127 research facilities across Europe urgently call upon European institutions, including the European Council, the new European Parliament, and the upcoming European Commission to take appropriate legal action to enable European scientists and breeders to apply genome editing for sustainable agriculture and food.

"The ability to use genome editing is crucial for the well-fare and food security of European citizens," the Open Statement stated. The scientists state that subjecting crops obtained through modern genome editing to GMO regulations will deny European consumers, producers, researchers, and entrepreneurs important opportunities in sustainable agriculture.

For more details, read the press release from VIB. The Open Statement is also available on the VIB website.

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