Gene edited herbicide resistant canola in limbo in Europe because of regulatory confusion

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A single herbicide-resistant canola variety developed by the company Cibus continues to languish, caught while European regulators deliberate whether to torture their creaking genetically modified organism (GMO) rules to encompass new breeding technologies. Given the low popularity of genetically modified (GM) food in the European Union (EU; Brussels), the question is whether Cibus’ canola and other products of new breeding technologies will be subject to scientific regulation or sacrificed on the altar of European political expediency as was the case with their older transgenic counterparts.

Cibus is a US biotech company . . .Its herbicide-resistant canola variety was not modified by classic genetic engineering . . . . the herbicide-resistant Cibus canola variety is genetically edited but not genetically modified (transgenic).

In July 2014, Cibus approached the German Federal Office of Consumer Protection and Food Safety (BVL). . . to assess the herbicide-resistant canola variety under the German regulation for GMOs, with a view to carrying out a field test. The following January, . . . BVL decided that this canola variety should not be considered as a GMO. . . .

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. . . . BVL’s decision prompted an outcry from Greenpeace Germany . . ., Testbiotech . . .and others. . . The intention of these NGOs was to delay any final decision assigning Cibus’ canola as a non-GMO, as this would set a precedent for other products of modern breeding technologies. . . .As a result, the BVL decision is in limbo until the legality of indict has been proven.

. . . .

. . . .Meanwhile, Cibus canola is cultivated in the United States, and products are sold at a premium (in the EU and elsewhere), as non-genetically modified products.

Read full, paywalled post: Cibus’ herbicide-resistant canola in European limbo

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