New Genetic Engineering Techniques / Feb. 2020

Sprouts from Brussel

European Commission study on “new genomic techniques” 

At the end of 2019, Member States requested the Commission’s DG SANTE (Unit Biotechnology) to conduct a study to clarify the legal status of “new genomic techniques” under European law, following the European Court of Justice ruling (which actually clarified such legal status), and mostly following the sizeable lobbying effort from the biotechnology and seed industries. 

The study kicks off with a survey and consultation. Questionnaires will be sent by the European Commission early February to Member States and to a limited number of stakeholders, which do include some non-governmental organisations. The first meeting that kicks off the stakeholder consultation, shaping the questionnaire that will be circulated, will be held in Brussels on 10th February, and final stakeholder feedback will be collected by April 2020. The results of the Commission study, which will also integrate opinions from the European Food Safety Authority, the Scientific Advice Mechanism, and the European Group on Ethics, needs to be published on 31st April 2021.