EU Commission prepares for possible ‘overhaul’ of GMO crop rules to address CRISPR gene editing

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The EU executive has already prepared the ground for a new initiative on gene editing to overhaul the current GMO legislation, EU agriculture commissioner Phil Hogan has said.

New plant breeding techniques (NPBTs) emerged as an innovative agricultural solution in the last decade, allowing the development of new plant varieties …. The European Court of Justice (ECJ) said last July that organisms obtained by mutagenesis, or gene editing, plant breeding technique are genetically modified organisms (GMOs) which should therefore fall under the GMO Directive.

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“It was interesting that …. the vast majority of ministers were looking for a Commission initiative in order to deal with this legal situation resulted from the recent ECJ judgment,” Hogan said.

Related article:  US farmer groups urge UK to 'break' with EU's biotech crop rules

“It’s a quite sensitive issue for ministers and society. Different member states have different views and different approaches to the genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and the core EU legislation on this has been in place since the 1990s and it was only updated in 2001,” he added.

“But I expected that a new initiative will be required in the next Commission,” he concluded.

Read full, original article: Commission in search of ‘robust response’ to gene editing challenge

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