Biotech Updates

EU Leading Scientists Warn: "European GMO Laws No Longer Fit"

March 11, 2020

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The current rules on genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in the European Union "no longer fit," according to leading scientists in a newly released commentary. Scientists who are members of the European Academies Science Advisory Council (EASAC) are calling for a radical reform of the legal framework. "There is a societal cost of not using new genome editing techniques or being slow in adoption. We have no time to lose in resolving our shared problems for food and nutrition security," says Robin Fears, Director of EASAC's Biosciences Programme.

In 2018, the European Court of Justice ruled that regulations for GMOs must also apply to all organisms which have been altered using new genome editing methods. EASAC points out that in the face of today's challenges to deliver food and nutrition security for all, to fight social inequity and climate change, the new techniques have great potential to improve both public and planetary health.

The European Council has already asked the European Commission to clarify regulatory options. EASAC sees this as an opportunity not to be missed to call for radical reform and for the EU to revise the GMO definition, develop a new legal framework, and to provide tools for future innovation in farming practices.

To read the commentary, visit the EASAC Media Room.

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