Press Statement – Stalemate for NGTs in EU Council

Press Statement

3rd July 2024

Plants for the Future ETP regrets the stalemate in the EU Council on the legislation for New Genomic Techniques (NGTs). The EU is losing momentum to catch up with its competitors and benefit from its own scientific excellence.

Following the conclusion of the Belgian Presidency, Plants for the Future highlights the urgent need for the EU Council to recognise that Category 1 NGT plants, identical to conventionally bred plants, should be regulated similarly. “Plants for the Future calls on the EU Council to focus on the bottom line, which is that Category 1 NGT plants are identical to conventionally bred plants and should therefore be regulated in the same way. We ask to demonstrate that the EU is ready to create an innovation-friendly environment that will leverage its own scientific excellence and technological discoveries for the benefit of its agri-food stakeholders, citizens and the environment,” says Amrit Nanda, Executive Manager of Plants for the Future ETP.

Despite the 2021 EU Commission study confirming that the current GMO legislation is outdated and that NGTs can enhance sustainable food systems, legislative progress has stalled. The EU Parliament’s recent amendments, including labelling and traceability requirements and a patent ban for Category 1 NGT plants, threaten to stifle innovation and burden SMEs and start-ups.

As the EU’s primary trading partners advance with NGT plant commercialisation, the EU risks falling further behind. The research community and breeding companies face significant challenges, including restrictions on field trials and vandalism concerns.

Plants for the Future remains committed to advocating for a robust EU regulatory framework that promotes plant breeding innovation, retains high-skilled jobs in rural areas, and boosts EU agri-food competitiveness globally.

Read the full press release here.