The European Potato Trade Association (Europatat) welcomes the European Parliament’s vote in favour of the proposed Regulation on New Genomic Techniques (NGTs). This decision represents an important step towards deregulating such techniques to use them to develop plants with enhanced yields, improved disease resistance, better food quality and greater resilience to climate change.
The Parliament’s support for the Commission’s proposal, which establishes two distinct categories for NGT plants with tailored regulatory frameworks, is particularly welcomed. This approach promises smoother authorisation for Category 1 NGTs considered equivalent to conventional breeding and stricter oversight for Category 2 NGTs similar to current GMO rules.
Chair of the Europatat Technical and Regulatory Commission Florimond Desprez welcomed the outcome of the vote: “We should embrace innovation when it allows for a more efficient food production. These techniques will not solve all the challenges related to climate change and societal expectations our agriculture faces. But they can certainly contribute to accelerating its transition to a more sustainable model. Nevertheless, we must be aware that those techniques will have a positive impact only if their use is not restricted by patents on traits. The development of NGTs should not weaken the breeders’ exemption.”
The positive outcome of the vote in the European Parliament puts pressure on the Council to move forward with the adoption of their position. This will allow for the trialogue discussions to begin between both institutions and the European Commission.
“Raising awareness among industry and general public about the safety and distinct nature of NGTs compared to GMOs is paramount,” stressed Vice-chair of the Europatat Technical and Regulatory Commission Stijn De Pourcq. “Combating misinformation and clarifying the regulatory landscape will be crucial as we move towards a future with NGTs.”
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