Brussels, 29 April 2022
Today, the European Commission is launching a public consultation, calling on civil society, public authorities, business operators and everyone interested to provide their views on New Genomic Techniques (NGTs) for plants. NGTs are capable of altering the genetic material of organisms which could be used for food, industrial or pharmaceutical purposes. These new techniques, enabling faster, more specific and more efficient breeding processes, have been developed over the two last decades. They are expected to keep expanding.
At the request of the Council, the Commission has published a study last year, highlighting that NGTs have the potential to contribute to sustainable agri-food systems, in line with the objectives of the European Green Deal and Farm to Fork Strategy. Over the past few months, the Commission has been developing a policy action on plants obtained using NGTs. Today’s launch of a public consultation is expected to feed into this work and the development of a new regulatory framework.
Stella Kyriakides, European Commissioner for Health and Food Safety, said:
“Food sustainability will be a driving force in reaching the goals of the European Green Deal, and in particular those of the Farm to Fork and Biodiversity Strategies. Innovation is at the heart of our work and we believe that modern biotechnology, and notably New Genomic Techniques, can help to make agri-food systems more sustainable in the future. However, the protection of the EU’s high food safety standards and the health of consumers must always come first. With potential new legislation in mind, we will have to assess a number of complex issues. This is why I call on everyone interested to share their views, so that we can have the widest possible range of input into to this important initiative”.
Based on the results of this consultation, which is open until 22 July, and additional analysis in the coming months, including in the form of an Impact Assessment, the Commission will continue working on a legislative proposal that will be submitted to the European Parliament and the Council by mid-2023.