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, flanders.bio underscores a note of caution regarding the included ban on patents for all aspects of NGT plants.
Kim Hertegonne, Program Manager at flanders.bio, 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.
flanders.bio is a dynamic, member-driven organization with currently more than 360 members from Belgium and abroad. We help our members to create value by organizing networking and training activities, supporting internationalization, providing services, and building expertise. flanders.bio and its members want to be the proud advocates of a reputable global-impact ecosystem in life sciences. For more information: https://www.flanders.bio/