EPSO welcomes the approach to evaluate organisms on a case-by-case basis. EPSO notes that the suggested criteria, triggered by the breeding technique, will not allow for the discrimination between plants produced by targeted mutagenesis and identical plants produced by random mutagenesis.
EFSA has developed criteria – for consideration – for the risk assessment of plants produced by targeted mutagenesis, cisgenesis and intragenesis (EFSA Journal doi: 10.2903/j.efsa.2022.7618.).
Concerning the suggested criteria, EPSO raises several points regarding definitions of the terms “exact copy”, “History of [safe] use” (HoSU) and “familiarity” – see full first reaction file.
EPSO suggest determining these definitions before a thorough evaluation of the suggested risk assessment scheme can be made and EPSO is happy to contribute to this debate on a scientific basis.
EPSO looks forward to engaging as a major stakeholder with the European Commission, Member States and the European Parliament to achieve a well-balanced policy action on plants derived from targeted mutagenesis and cisgenesis. EPSO will continue providing scientific input in the course of the consultations with the EC and other stakeholders.
Read the full EPSO first reaction to the statement from EFSA regarding “Criteria for risk assessment of plants produced by targeted mutagenesis, cisgenesis and intragenesis.”, 20.10.2022
Jens Sundström, EPSO Chair WG Agricultural Technologies
Alan Schulman & Karin Metzlaff (EPSO President, Executive Director)