New developments and regulatory issues in plant genetic engineering
Based on its study of NGTs, the European Commission published an Inception Impact Assessment. It proposes reviewing – and potentially changing – the current legal framework for some kinds of NGT plants and their food and feed products. According to the Commission, this measure is particularly urgent in view of the potential contribution of certain NGT plants to the sustainable agri-food system objectives of the European Green Deal and related sustainability policies.
This paper contributes to the discussion from a scientific point of view, with a special emphasis on the perspective of nature conservation. We outline how the precautionary principle can be upheld while the most efficient tools for making the agri-food system more sustainable are selected. The paper follows roughly the outline of the Inception Impact Assessment: the context and assumptions are examined, possible policies are assessed and proposed and criteria against which future legislative proposals should be measured are discussed.