Seed World

Update: 26 European Business Organizations ask the EU for Pro-Innovation Rules For Plant Breeding

On 23 April, 22 European business organisations jointly signed a letter calling upon member states and the European Commission to initiate a legislative change that provides innovation-friendly rules for plant breeding.

On 9 May, the letter received support from four additional business organizations. In total, 26 organizations from the agri-food value chain as well as the red and white biotech sector are reiterating their concern about the European Court of Justice ruling on case C-528/16 (25 July 2018), by which products resulting from innovative, targeted mutagenesis methods are regulated under the provisions of the GMO-Directive.

The goal is to obtain practical and science-based rules for products resulting from the latest mutagenesis methods that foster public confidence and trust. This would unlock great potential for a high-performing, innovative and diversified European bio-based solutions in sectors such as plant and animal breeding, agriculture, animal feed, food, healthcare and energy thereby contributing to Europe’s resilience to climate change, and to benefits for consumers, patients and the environment.

The introduction of targeted genetic variation in crops and other organisms can help to achieve important sustainable development goals and to contribute to a cleaner environment, to healthy diets, and the protection of biodiversity. It can also contribute to making crops more resilient and better withstand climate change.

The costly and lengthy EU approval process for the products resulting from targeted mutagenesis, combined with potential national cultivation opt-outs under Directive 2001/18, will effectively deprive European farmers and consumers from the benefits of these products.

Read the full letter (pdf)

Source: ESA