The study cites the substantial link between innovation in plant science and the ambitious goals of the EU claimed in The Green Deal and its Farm to Fork and Biodiversity strategies, which is greatly supported by EPSO. The use of NGTs in plants can support the transition to a resilient, sustainable and secure agriculture for food and feed production, thereby also contributing to the sustainable development goals of the United Nations. The study also underlines the necessity to update the European legislation on GMOs in order to address innovation and biosafety concerns appropriately without preventing scientific and societal progress. Moreover, the legislation must allow Europe to maintain its research and innovation environment among worldwide competition so that Europe can still produce its own food and contribute to food and nutritional security globally.
NGTs and NGT-products have a role to play in the European Farm-to-Fork strategy by ensuring sustainable food production and the shift to healthy, sustainable diets, for example through disease-resistant crops (reducing pesticide use) with better water and nutrient use efficiency (lowering water and fertiliser use) that yield allergen-free and nutritious food promoting human health in the light of climate change. They can also contribute to implementation of the European Biodiversity strategy by improving the performance and nutritional content of underutilised fruit, vegetable, legume, and cereal crops and thereby substantially increase the diversity of cultivated crops.
EPSO looks forward to engaging as a major stakeholder with the European Commission, as the EC indicated to communicate with Member States, European Parliament and stakeholders to achieve a well-balanced policy action on plants derived from targeted mutagenesis and cisgenesis. EPSO will provide scientific input in the course of the consultations with the EC and other stakeholders.
EPSO First reaction and related EPSO publications, 30.4.2021
EC Study on new genomic techniques, 29.4.2021
- Ralf Wilhelm, Frank Hartung & Jens Sundstrom, EPSO Chairs WG Agricultural Technologies
- Alan Schulman, Ernst van den Ende & Karin Metzlaff (EPSO President, Board, Executive Director)