Debate over GMO, CRISPR crop rules ‘essential’ as EU agriculture adapts to changing climate

| | October 2, 2019
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Europe's Court of Justice ruled that CRISPR crops are GMOs in 2018. Image: The Institute of International and European Affairs
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In the hot summer of 2018, German farmers received €340 million in drought aid, and it will certainly not be the last time they receive such support. At the same time, more and more people need to be fed without further harming the environment. Can European agriculture do that?

“In the future, it will not be a question of increasing maximum yields, but of achieving greater yield stability,” Timo Kautz, a professor of agricultural and horticultural sciences at Humboldt University Berlin, told EURACTIV’s workshop on [September 27].

Protecting plants genetically rather than chemically will become increasingly important in future farming, but this also highlights the need to solve the legal pitfall created by a recent European Court of Justice (ECJ) ruling on gene editing, MEP Paolo De Castro told EURACTIV.

Related article:  Japanese researchers gain approval for ‘basic research’ on gene-edited human embryos

The court ruled that plant breeding using the so-called CRISPR/Cas9 method falls under the strictly controlled category of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in the EU.

This means that plants bred in this way are subject to extensive and costly tests before they are approved on the European market ….

The issue will still play an essential role in the agenda of the European Parliament’s new Agriculture Committee, as one of its members confirmed to EURACTIV ….

Read full, original article: Agricultural sector should focus on achieving greater yield stability, experts say

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