Thursday February 8th 2024


Yesterday, the European Parliament took a significant step forward by voting in favour of the Commission’s proposal on New Genomic Techniques (NGTs).

This vote represents a great advancement in modernising Europe’s plant biotech and breeding landscape. It also gives food security and climate objectives a boost as NGTs have the potential to significantly contribute to Europe’s goals by introducing climate-resilient crops and reducing environmental impact.

However, underscores a note of caution regarding the included ban on patents for all aspects of NGT plants.

Kim Hertegonne, Program Manager at, highlights, “We applaud the European Parliament’s efforts to update gene editing regulations, but the exclusion of NGT plants from patenting poses risks. We believe that any restrictions on the patentability of NGT plants should be carefully evaluated, with a comprehensive understanding of the potential impact on Europe’s innovation, policy coherence, resilient agriculture, and consumer health.”

Nevertheless, the passage of the Commission’s proposal marks a significant milestone. It sends a clear signal to the Council, urging to advance negotiations with EU member states on the final law. A well-balanced approach will ensure that innovation in plant biotechnology continues to thrive, benefitting academics, industry players (incl. SMEs), farmers and the overall agricultural landscape in Europe.

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