Genome editing: Improving legislation and starting flagships to better address climate, environmental, food and health challenges

2nd Informal meeting in Brussels 24.1.2020

Brussels, 24.4.2020

On 24 January 2020 EPSO invited tandems of member-scientists and policy makers from a dozen countries across Europe to a second open-minded, informal meeting to assess the situation for research and development on New Plant Breeding Technologies (NPBTs) after the ruling of the ECJ in July 2018.

The difficulties in the implementation of the ruling, the possible need for changes to present legislation and the status of activities in different member states and associated countries were discussed. Flagship projects with potential field releases were a further point of consideration. There shall be a follow up meeting in autumn 2020.

As explained in our statement of 19.2.2019, EPSO offers to collaborate with policy makers to develop an appropriate future-ready regulation to enable the European public sector, small- and medium-sized companies and farmers to contribute more comprehensively to food and nutritional security and to use all available tools to reduce the environmental impact of agriculture. Notwithstanding the technical option retained, EPSO supports a science-based revision of the present European legislation establishing a more proportionate product-based risk assessment. EPSO is also willing to contribute to the societal debate on genome editing and to communicate in a fact-based and yet accessible manner about innovative plant science and its societal role.

Ralf Wilhelm, Ernst van den Ende and Karin Metzlaff

Read the 2nd meeting report


  • Ralf Wilhelm, JKI / DE and co-chair EPSO Agricultural Technologies WG
  • Ernst van den Ende, WUR / NL and EPSO Board member
  • Alan Schulman, LUKE / FI and EPSO President
  • Karin Metzlaff, EPSO Executive Director