Europe should embrace new breeding techniques to make farming more sustainable, says EU agriculture committee chair


The vice-chair of the European Parliament’s agriculture committee has argued that Europe should embrace innovative biotechnologies to boost food production while cutting the environmental impact of farming.

“Breeding techniques which do not involve genomic changes from one species to another, and simply accelerate modifications that could happen in nature, should not be considered as the old-fashioned genetic modifications,” Italian S&D group MEP Paolo De Castro said at a conference on ‘Modern Biotechnologies in Agriculture’, on 28 September.

Paolo De Castro
Paolo De Castro

He told the focus of agricultural innovation should be on enabling farmers to produce more with less and to make farming more sustainable. De Castro also stressed that the legal framework should be separate to the EU’s current laws on genetically modified organisms (GMOs).

“The food resulting from these new techniques is completely different from the Frankenstein food our consumers are scared by,” the MEP added.

NPBTs are innovative techniques that involve using genetic engineering to enhance or remove certain characteristics. Supporters argue they should not be regulated as genetically modified organisms (GMOs) because, unlike with GMOs, no foreign DNA is added. Any change that scientists engineer, they say, could occur through the natural process of evolution.

Read full, original post: De Castro MEP: New plant breeding techniques are nothing like ‘Frankenstein’ GMOs

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