EU CRISPR-edited crop rules still unclear, a year after landmark court ruling

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Credit: Beyond GM

After the controversial European Court of Justice (ECJ) ruling in 2018 that organisms obtained by new plant breeding techniques (NBTs) should, in principle, fall under the GMO Directive, the Council of the EU has requested a study from the Commission to clarify the situation.

But what this means in practice remains unclear, stakeholders have told EURACTIV.

Speaking at a recent event on NBTs, Jari Leppä, Finnish agriculture minister and current president of the EU agri-fish council, confirmed the Council had requested a study on the “options to update the existing legislation” …. But the exact purpose and aim of the request are not immediately clear.

The request for the study, which should be submitted to the Council by the end of April 2021, states that while the ruling brought “legal clarity” as to the status of new mutagenesis techniques, it also raised “practical questions which have consequences for the national competent authorities, the Union’s industry, in particular in the plant breeding sector, research and beyond”.

Related article:  Fish feed enhanced with omega-3 oil? UK scientists developing more nutritious food for farmed salmon

Although the request does not specifically mention “options to update the existing legislation”, it does say the Commission should “submit a proposal, if appropriate in view of the outcomes of the study”.

Read full, original article: EU study to clarify gene editing court ruling further muddies waters

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