ASTA Responds to EU Ruling on Gene Editing

Cindy Zimmerman

The European Union Court of Justice ruled this week that gene edited crops should be treated the same genetically modified organisms (GMOs). The court ruled that “organisms obtained by mutagenesis are GMOs within the meaning of the GMO Directive,” however it does not apply to gene-editing techniques which “have conventionally been used and have a long safety record.”

The American Seed Trade Association (ASTA), which advocates for the new plant breeding technology, says the decision “sets a dangerous precedent that could impede global trade and stifle innovation for the future.”

“The ECJ’s decision is based solely on the plant breeding method, without taking into account whether the end-product could have been achieved through more traditional means. Even very small improvements made to a plant would be subject to burdensome regulation under the court’s definition. This would be a huge blow to the continuing evolution of plant breeding innovation and the tremendous promise it holds for a more sustainable and secure global food production system.”

AgWired Precision, ASTA, International, Plant Breeding, Seed