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European Parliament Votes to Support Proposal on NGTs
Saturday, 2024/02/17 | 08:16:33

On February 7, 2024, Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) adopted a position for negotiations with member states on the Commission proposal on New Genomic Techniques (NGTs), with 307 votes to 263 and 41 abstentions. The positive vote aims for a more sustainable and resilient food system by developing improved plant varieties that are climate resilient, pest resistant, and give higher yields or that require fewer fertilizers and pesticides.


In the European Union, all plants obtained through NGTs are subject to the same rules as genetically modified organisms (GMOs). MEPs agree with the proposal to have two different categories and two sets of rules for NGT plants. NGT 1 plants considered equivalent to conventional ones would be exempted from the requirements of the GMO legislation, whereas other NGT plants (NGT 2 plants) would still have to follow stricter requirements. Mandatory labeling of products from both NGT 1 and NGT 2 plants will be maintained. Likewise, MEPs want a full ban on patents for all NGT plants, plant material, parts thereof, genetic information, and process features they contain, to avoid legal uncertainties, increased costs, and new dependencies for farmers and breeders.


For NGT 1 plants, MEPs want to amend the size and number of modifications needed for a NGT plant to be considered equivalent to conventional plants. To ensure transparency, MEPs agree to set up a public online list of all NGT 1 plants. For NGT 2 plants, MEPs agree to maintain most of the requirements of the GMO legislation.


The European Food Safety Authority has evaluated the potential safety issues of NGTs. Several NGT products are already or in the process of becoming available on the market outside the EU (e.g. bananas in the Philippines that do not go brown, with the potential to reduce food waste and CO2 emissions). After the vote, the EU Parliament is now ready to start negotiations with member states on the final law.


For more details, read the article in the European Parliament Newsroom.



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