EU seeks ‘clarity’ on court’s recommendation not to regulate new crop breeding techniques as GMOs

Pflanzenwissenschaften Botanik

The European Commission expects “important” clarity on the scope of GMO legislation ahead of a Court ruling on new plant breeding techniques, an EU spokesperson told following the release of an Advocate General’s first opinion.

European Court of Justice Advocate General Michal Bobek released on Thursday (18 January) his opinion following a request by France in 2016 to clarify whether a variety of herbicide-resistant rapeseed obtained through new plant breeding techniques (NPBTs) should follow the GMO approval process.

The case concerns one type of NPBT (mutagenesis) and it is unclear whether the judgment will extend to other NPBTs and what impact a negative ruling would have on genetic engineering in general.

Bobek noted that organisms obtained by mutagenesis are, in principle, exempted from the obligations in the GMO directive.


Although his opinion is not binding, European Court of Justice judges rarely go against the advice of their advocate-general. The final judgment is due in May 2018.

[An] EU official reiterated the Commission’s position that a broad EU reflection on new breeding techniques and innovation in the seeds sector (and beyond) is needed.

Read full, original post: Commission expects clarity on GM scope from court ruling on plant breeding techniques

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