Association Française des Biotechnologies Végétales (AFBV) and its German partner, Wissenschaftskreis Genomik und Gentechnik (WGG), welcome the publication of the European Commission’s proposals for adapting the 2001 regulations on genetically modified seeds. These proposals should facilitate the development of plants derived from some new genomic techniques (NGT) (directed mutagenesis, cisgenesis and intragenesis), which will bring much-awaited innovations.
The introduction of these new techniques into the seed companies’ toolbox will give European agriculture the means to compete on equal terms with major agricultural competitor countries that have already modified their regulations. It is also a necessary condition for the success of the Green Deal.
AFBV and WGG believe that adapting the regulatory framework for NGT-modified plants will enable seed companies to more rapidly develop varieties adapted to the needs of farmers and meeting the demands of consumers and industry, across a large number of crop species (field crops, fruits, vegetables, potatoes, vines, etc.).
To enable industry players to use these NGTs quickly, this regulation should be adopted before the European election deadline of 2024, or be a priority for the next legislature. If such a timetable is not met, the marketing of NGT varieties in the EU will be postponed for several years, in a global environment where the marketing of NGT varieties has already begun in several countries.
Now is the time for the EU to be ambitious in securing the future of its agriculture. By making new genomic technologies accessible, it will help reduce the risks associated with climate change and preserve its food sovereignty and security.