AseBio positively values the regulatory advancements regarding NGTs following the European Parliament's vote
Following the vote on February 7th, the European Parliament will be able to initiate negotiations with the Member States for the creation of the definitive law.
The European Parliament adopted during the plenary session held on February 7th its favorable position on the regulation proposal regarding New Genomic Editing Techniques (NGTs), presented by the European Commission in July 2023.
Europe aims to make the food system more sustainable and resilient by developing improved plant varieties that resist climate and pests, in addition to offering higher yields and reducing the use of fertilizers and pesticides. This step was possible with 307 votes in favor, 263 against, and 41 abstentions.
Currently, all plants obtained through NGT are subject to the same rules as genetically modified organisms (GMOs). The Eurochamber supports the proposal to establish two different categories and two sets of rules for plants obtained with NGT. Those considered equivalent to conventional ones (plants obtained with NGT category 1) would be exempt from GMO legislation requirements, while the rest (plants obtained with NGT category 2) would have to comply with stricter standards. Members of the European Parliament call for maintaining mandatory labeling for all NGT products.
Among the amendments voted on, the following are worth noting:
- Removal of the proposed new text of Annex IIIa. This introduced In door assessment requirements to ensure In door safety for NGT1 plants.
- The restriction on the use of products obtained with NGT in organic production is maintained because they consider that their compatibility requires further study.
- For NGT2 plants and products, the authorization process and mandatory labeling are maintained.
- The prohibition of patentability for this type of vegetables, plant material, their parts, genetic information, and process characteristics is maintained. In this regard, Members of the European Parliament have requested a report before June 2025 on the impact of patents on breeders' and farmers' access to diverse plant reproductive material.
Additionally, the following is introduced:
- A monitoring plan for environmental effects for Category 1 NGTs.
- Extended producer responsibility.
Following the vote, the European Parliament will be able to initiate negotiations with the Member States for the creation of the definitive law.
From AseBio, we positively value the continued progress with the approval of this necessary regulation that allows harnessing the advancements made in this field and facilitating the approval of products obtained by NGTs so that society can leverage their full potential.
We hope that the approval of the definitive law will occur before the European elections taking place between June 6th and 9th, 2024, so that all the progress made is not stalled as a result of the elections.