Press Release: Over sixty organizations and scientific leaders address an open letter to Jean-­Claude Juncker.

Over sixty organizations (public and private research centers, universities, academies, technical institutes, professional agricultural organizations) and scientific leaders from different European countries have called for a “European Initiative for plant genome editing“. The signatories stress in an open letter to the European Commission that the European Union must not miss out on the opportunities offered by genomic editing of plants. For the members of the initiative, the innovations allowed by these technologies will be essential to enable European researchers and farmers to work with the best tools available and to avoid distortions of competition with the major agricultural countries that have already committed to them. To this end, the group offers three proposals for rapid action to enable Europe to return to the forefront of innovation in the field of plant breeding, in the interest of consumers, farmers, industry and the environment: a) to adopt a coherent interpretation of the definition of a GMO under the EU Directive 2001/18 / EC b) to designate an EU authority to confirm the exclusion or exemption from EU Directive 2001/18 / EC b) to initiate discussions with countries exporting and importing agricultural products to harmonize the regulatory status of plants derived from genome editing. Only by allowing European private and public researchers to become major players in plant genomic publishing will the EU find its place in this “new era” of biotechnology for agriculture and agroecology.

The full letter can be downloaded here: