EU delays decision on whether gene edited crops fall under existing GMO laws

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The European Commission has again delayed a much-awaited legal analysis of whether new plant breeding techniques should be considered GMOs, EurActiv.com has learned.

New breeding techniques (NBTs) focus on developing new seed traits within a given species through genetic engineering.

Initially, the Commission’s opinion was due by the end of 2015, but the procedure was postponed.

In January, a European Commission spokesperson told EurActiv that the legal analysis would be completed by the first quarter of 2016.

A Commission source told EurActiv that the process was still ongoing, and that no result was expected by the end of this month.

“The Commission is currently working on a legal analysis to give guidance on how to interpret the definition of GMOs in relation to organisms produced by new plant breeding techniques,” a Commission source told EurActiv.

. . . .

In a joint position paper published this month, environmentalist NGOs stressed that the EU GMO law should be fully applied to the so-called ‘new plant breeding techniques’.

. . . .

Reacting to the article, the European Seed Association told EurActiv: The “ESA shares the views expressed in the Member States Experts report of 2012 that looked at the techniques individually and concluded that most of them should not be classified as GMO. Specifically the new mutation techniques should fall under the already existing exemptions for classical mutation breeding.”

Read full, original post: Decision on new plant breeding techniques further delayed

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