Members' Research Service By / October 13, 2023

Plants produced by new genomic techniques [EU Legislation in Progress]

Plant breeding is an ancient activity, dating back to the very beginnings of agriculture. In the mid 1800s, Gregor Mendel outlined the principles of heredity using pea plants and thus provided the necessary framework for scientific plant breeding.

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Written by Ivana Katsarova (1st edition).

On 5 July 2023, the Commission tabled a proposal for a regulation on certain new genomic techniques (NGTs). It establishes two categories of plants obtained by NGTs: plants comparable to naturally occurring or conventional plants, and plants with modifications that are more complex. The two categories will be subject to different requirements to reach the market, taking into account their different characteristics and risk profiles.

Feedback from stakeholders is mixed. While industry interest groups hailed the ‘game-changing proposals’ bringing innovation in plant breeding, the organic food and farming movement criticised the Commission’s plan to take NGTs out of the existing legal framework, as it could leave organic food systems unprotected.

In Parliament, the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (ENVI) is responsible for the file under the co-decision procedure.


Proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on plants obtained by certain new genomic techniques and their food and feed, and amending Regulation (EU) 2017/625
Committee responsible:Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (ENVI)COM(2023)411 final
Rapporteur:Jessica Polfjärd (EPP, Sweden)2023/0226(COD)
Shadow rapporteurs:Christophe Clergeau (S&D, France)
Pietro Fiocchi (ECR, Italy)
Silvia Sardone (ID, Italy)
Ordinary legislative
procedure (COD) (Parliament and Council
on equal footing – formerly ‘co-decision’)
Next steps expected: Publication of draft report


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  • playing god is NEVER a good and recommendable choice. Do such kind of food and derived ones, be indicated in food label as NON NATURAL? Are you willing to be transparent to all food supply chain? I don’t want to eat something that have eaten such food for example.

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