The Agriculture & Progress organized an online conference “Innovative Breeding Techniques: The crucial role of sustainable farming to achieve the Green Deal ambitions“, under the patronage of MEP Paolo De Castro on Tuesday, 13th April from 15h to 16h CEST.
The agricultural community in the EU faces several challenges: produce sufficiently for a growing population, produce sustainably to address environmental and climate change issues, and ensure competitiveness in a sector that is exposed to international markets whilst generating a decent income for farmers. To face these inevitable challenges, the development of New Breeding Techniques (NBTs) is crucial not only for the agricultural community but also for the downstream industry chain and ultimately for the consumer.
The ECJ ruling on Case C-528/16 clarifying the legal status of mutagenesis finds that mutagenesis leads a priori to products subject to EU GMO legislation. The European Commission has been tasked by the Council of the EU to conduct a study on NBTs in the light of this ruling by 30 April 2021 and submit a proposal, if appropriate, accompanied by an impact assessment.
This provides an important backdrop to continue and advance discussion between decision-makers and stakeholders on this important issue, in view of developing an adapted and workable regulatory framework that addresses the specificities of NBTs. This is a complex and lengthy process, requiring substantial investments and a close cooperation between scientists and the farming community. But what is needed to make this cooperation – and by extension NBT use- successful is a solid regulatory framework developed at EU level. Only in this way can the EU’s climate and environmental and healthy food ambitions be accomplished.
This workshop aims to provide a correct and sound understanding of NBT’s practical use and wishes to stimulate the debate on the way forward from a political perspective.