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EU to discuss the application of new genomic techniques in animal farming

Tuesday, May 4, 2021

The European Commission published a study on New Genomic Techniques (NGTs). The study shows that NGTs, which are techniques to alter the genome of an organism, have the potential to contribute to a more sustainable food system as part of the objectives of the European Green Deal and the Farm to Fork Strategy. The study is relevant for researchers, breeders and farmers and everyone involved in the animal breeding and reproduction sector with impacts on the future of research, innovation and sustainability of the livestock and aquaculture sector in Europe.

The study also found that the current GMO legislation, adopted in 2001, is not fit for these innovative technologies. The Commission will now start a wide and open consultation process to discuss the design of a new legal framework for these biotechnologies.

Commissioner for Health and Food Safety, Stella Kyriakides, said that “the study concludes that new genomic techniques can promote the sustainability of agricultural production, in line with the objectives of our Farm to Fork Strategy. With the safety of consumers and the environment as the guiding principle, now is the moment to have an open dialogue with citizens, member states and the European parliament to jointly decide the way forward for the use of these biotechnologies in the EU.”

The study will be discussed with EU ministers at the Agriculture and Fisheries Council in May. The Commission will also discuss its findings with the European Parliament and all interested stakeholders. 

Download the study here.

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