Biotech experts praise France for challenging Europe’s ‘obsolete’ crop gene-editing rules

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The French Association of Plant Biotechnologies (AFBV), which brings together a hundred researchers and experts in the field of green biotechnology, welcomes the position taken by the French Minister of Agriculture, Julien Denormandie, in favor of new plant breeding techniques, also known as NPBT or NBT. These new technologies make it possible in particular to speed up plant breeding and make it more efficient, necessary conditions for competitiveness of our seed sector.

While France and Europe wish to reduce the use of plant protection products and adapt their agriculture to the consequences of climate change, they cannot …. refrain from using as complementary solutions all technologies available for the genetic improvement of plants.

AFBV is particularly focused [on] and concerned with genome editing, one of these very promising new technologies. It must be included as part of the range of innovative technologies that the breeder can use to meet the needs of agriculture and society. But this potential for innovation is currently blocked by obsolete European regulations which de facto prohibit the use of novel biotechnologies while all our competitors in world markets have them available.

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This is why the initiative of the French Minister of Agriculture to demand a new regulatory framework adapted to the progress of science constitutes a positive step towards allowing the continuation of innovation in plant breeding. This adaptation is also necessary to ensure our seed sovereignty, the first essential link in our food sovereignty.

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