3 German science institutes say CRISPR-edited plants not GMOs, call for new EU biotech crop rules

| | December 5, 2019
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The EU science community continues to put pressure on regulators to reform Europe’s genetic engineering law. On [Dece. 4] …. the German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina, the Union of German Academies of Science and the German Research Foundation (DFG) made recommendations for a “scientifically justified regulation” of genome-edited plants in the EU. Among other things, they recommend the amendment of European genetic engineering law.

Genome-edited plants without external genetic information are not GMOs

The research institutes said the GMO definition should be revised to the effect that genome-edited plants are not considered genetically modified organisms (GMOs) if no external genetic information is included – in analogy to plants modified using conventional breeding methods.

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Similarly, a plant should not be considered a GMO if there is a combination of genetic information that could also arise naturally or with conventional breeding methods. In the long term, however, only a completely new legal framework is consistent, the statement goes on to say. In assessing risks to humans and the environment, this should focus not on the processes used to produce new varieties, but on their novel characteristics, the researchers write.

[Editor’s note: This article was published in German and has been translated and edited for clarity.]

Read full, original article: Leading science academies are demanding new genetic engineering law

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