On 7 February, the European Parliament Plenary adopted its position on a regulation on plants obtained by certain new genomic techniques and their food and feed (COM(2023) 411). COCERAL, FEDIOL and FEFAC remain committed to further scrutinizing the draft and supporting the legislative process, once the full text will be public.
While the vote goes in the right direction, recognizing the need for a new regulation on NGTs, there are still areas in which the text must be improved, if the European Union intends to give the farming community New Genomic Techniques as a new tool to address climate change impact and the sustainability goals of the Green Deal.
In particular, this is true for the same compulsory labelling for all NGT products, undermining the very essence of a distinction between Category 1 (conventional-like) NGTs and other NGTs to be treated like GMOs. This aspect could represent a relevant obstacle to the adoption of the technology and to the clarity of the information passed onto the citizens and consumers. Furthermore, mandatory labelling (“New Genomic Techniques”) would stigmatize Category 1 NGT products, although EFSA has -on multiple occasions-, declared that Category 1 NGTs do not pose additional risks to those of varieties obtained through conventional breeding methods.
A regulatory framework that is easy to implement with clear-cut criteria to determine the application or exclusion of GMO considerations, with a set of rules applicable throughout the Single Market, will facilitate the circulation and processing of food and feed materials. This, in turn, will contribute significantly to enhancing the competitiveness of both the industry and the farming sector within the EU.
Full press release available here.