Seed World

EU Council Deadlock on NGTs Further Delays Innovation for Europe’s Plant Breeders and Farmers

Euroseeds expressed disappointment as EU Member States again failed to agree on the Commission’s proposal for regulating New Genomic Techniques (NGTs), according to a press release. Despite the Spanish and Belgian presidencies’ efforts, differences over the patentability of NGT-derived innovations prevented consensus.

Euroseeds supports the Commission’s commitment to assess, as part of a broader market analysis, the impact that the patenting of plants and related licensing and transparency practices may have on innovation in plant breeding.

statement on their website states: “We acknowledge the continuous efforts of first the Spanish and now the Belgian presidency, developing a wide range of compromise proposals on different elements of the proposal, including around the controversial subject of intellectual property protection of NGT plants. Despite all these efforts, Member States still were unable to arrive at the required majority due to differences of views on patentability of NGT-derived innovations.”

Secretary General Garlich von Essen said the outcome of this study will help to support further policy action and possible regulatory measures.

With other countries advancing without additional restrictions on NGT plants, Euroseeds warned that Europe’s delays hinder its researchers, breeders, and farmers.

“The more the decision-making process gets delayed in Europe, the more our researchers, breeders, and farmers are losing out on progress and competitiveness,” von Essen added.

The release notes that Euroseeds urges a differentiated regulatory approach for NGTs in Europe to align with global scientific consensus and practices.

“We ask Member States to urgently act in favour of plant breeding innovation in Europe and to provide the necessary legal certainty for all parties involved to support the much-needed progress in research and product development,” von Essen concluded.