Biotechnology (New Genomic Techniques & Genetically modified organisms)

Over the last 40 years, modern biotechnology has invented or conceived several new tools and techniques implemented to facilitate the breeding of new and improved crop varieties. Compared to traditional breeding these techniques reduce the time and effort needed to produce new crop varieties with higher yield and disease resistance and other environmental stressors

Over the past 20 years, new breeding methods have been developed for which the general term ‘new breeding techniques’ (NBT), also called ‘new genomic techniques’ (NGT) is being used. Those techniques are defined as “techniques that are capable of altering the genetic material of an organism and that have emerged or have been mainly developed since 2001” (Joint Research Centre). In 2021, the European Commission published a study on New Genomic Techniques (NGTs) clarifying on the status of NGTs within the European Union by concluding that there are strong indications that the current 2001 GMO legislation is not fit for purpose for some NGTs and their products. The scientific community & wide range of stakeholders (including FEFAC) consider that NGTs have the potential to make a positive contribution to the objectives of the Green Deal, the “Farm to Fork” Strategy and the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and particular by helping to reduce the EU deficit for vegetable proteins. The EU legislation for plants produced by certain new genomic techniques to ensure a high level of protection and contribute to sustainability and innovation is expected to be delivered in Q2 2023.