Biotech Updates

22 European Business Organizations Call for Pro-Innovation Plant Breeding Rules in the EU

May 2, 2019

Twenty-two business organizations from Europe are jointly calling on the member states and the European Commission for a legislative change that provides innovation-friendly rules for plant breeding.

In an open letter, the 22 signatories reiterated their concern about the European Court of Justice ruling on case C-528/16 (25 July 2018), by which the Court interpreted the provisions of the EU GMO Directive 2001/18 that products from innovative, targeted mutagenesis methods are regulated under the provisions of the GMO-Directive. The letter also says that products should not be subject to Directive 2001/18 requirements and related regulations if they could also have been obtained through conventional methods or result from spontaneous processes in nature.

The signatories state that the costly and lengthy EU approval process deprives European farmers and consumers from the benefits of such products. They emphasize that they are in full agreement with scientists, stakeholders, and EU trade partners that it has become urgent for the EU to adapt its legislation to reflect and welcome technical progress and align it with legislation in other parts of the world. Lastly, they express their willingness to engage with policy makers, stakeholders, and all interested parties to work for a constructive, targeted change.

For more details, read the news release from the European Seed Association. Read the open letter here.