French regulators split on whether to regulate CRISPR, new breeding techniques as GMOs

| | April 29, 2016
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The French High Council for Biotechnology (HCB) is shedding members. Seven associations have left the organisation, claiming their opinions on new plant breeding techniques, or “new GMOs”, were ignored. EurActiv’s partner Journal de l’Environnement reports.

Following the resignation of Yves Bertheau, of the French National Institute for Agricultural Research, and Patrick de Kochko, the coordinator of the French Peasant Seed network (Réseau Semences Paysannes), from the HCB, seven associations announced on Wednesday (13 April) that they suspended their membership of the Council in February.

The cause of this exodus was a memo on new plant breeding techniques (NPBT), which first appeared as an ‘opinion’, and then as a ‘provisional report’.

This memo was published in early February and recommended that the products derived from most of these new plant breeding techniques be exempt from the European Directive on Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs).

This would lead to significant changes in terms of authorisation and traceability, as well as labelling. And it would allow the biotechnology industry to bypass the obstacles it had to endure in the authorisation of GMOs.

. . . .

According to the HCB president, the regulatory status of NPBT products has not yet been finalised, in spite of what the provisional report, and then the ministerial letter, may suggest.

Read full, original post: Agricultural authorisation body in meltdown over ‘new GMOs’

 

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