Former EU food safety commissioner: Europe can’t afford to ignore the crop gene editing revolution

Credit: Beyond GM

Debate on new breeding techniques is intense. Sometimes dubbed by their opponents as the “new GMOs” who raise concerns over their safety or simply reject their use in European agriculture for various reasons including ethical issues, other stakeholders nevertheless point out the advantages and benefits offered by these techniques.

A legal input took place last year, when a ruling of the Court of Justice of the EU in July 2018 stated that current legislation on the deliberate release of GMOs applies to organisms obtained by new mutagenesis techniques.

It is now a well-known fact that I have been defending a strong position on this debate in recent months. Speaking at a Citizens’ Dialogue last autumn in Italy, I made it clear that we need to invest money, time and resources in new agricultural technologies.


[Editor’s note: Vytenis Andriukaitis is the EU’s former Health & Food Safety commissioner.]

Related article:  Tweaking two genes in cotton doubles crop yields—and may do the same in wheat, rice and corn

Europe simply cannot afford to give up and stay on the side while our main competitors will not! Unsurprisingly, some of the biggest producers of GM products (the United States, Canada, Brazil, Argentina) already acknowledge the role that these new techniques could play in addressing challenges in agricultural production.

Read full, original article: The EU Must Remain a Key Actor in the Area of Seeds and New Technologies in Plants

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