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Belgium`s Health Authority Endorses EU Proposal on NGTs
Monday, 2024/04/15 | 08:39:22

ISAAA April 10, 2024


Belgium, through its national health agency Superior Health Council, has endorsed the European Commission's proposal to loosen rules on gene editing techniques, underscoring its potential to improve sustainability in agriculture.


In a report published on March 21, 2024, the Superior Health Council concluded that New Genomic Techniques (NGTs), which allow targeted and rapid modifications to the genome of plants, can contribute to a “climate-robust, sustainable agricultural production,” leading to higher yields. The report highlighted that gene editing methods align with the EU's environmental ambitions, including a target to achieve a 50% reduction in pesticide use by 2030, as they can make crops more resistant to pests and diseases.


The agency also backed the Commission's proposal of splitting NGT plants into two tracks in its draft legislation. The agency also pointed out that, while NGT plants undergo genetic changes, they differ from traditional GMOs, since they are not transgenic. The report concluded that “the hazards of NGT1 plants” are “similar” to those conventionally bred plants.


For more details, read the article in Euractiv or download the Superior Health Council report.


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