Approved EU Regulations on New Genetic Improvement Techniques

8 March 2024

The European Parliament’s ENVI committee, led by MEP speaker Jessica Polfjärd, approved the report on NGT with 47 votes in favor, 31 against, and 4 abstentions. Copa and Cogeca welcome the vote, a step forward for the EU agricultural community in the use of NGTs deemed essential to address climate change. However, Copa and Cogeca express reservations about the labeling of bags of seeds made from NGT varieties.

The European Parliament’s ENVI (Environment, Public Health, and Food Safety) Committee adopted MEP Jessica Polfjärd’s (EPP, SE) preliminary report on New Genetic Improvement Techniques (NGTs) on January 25 with a majority of 47 votes in favor, 31 against, and 4 abstentions. Copa and Cogeca, representatives of EU farming communities, welcomed this crucial vote, which brings the EU agricultural sector closer to an official position on the use of NGTs in the EU Parliament.

NGTs are an integral part of the toolbox that allows the plant nursery industry to accelerate their breeding programs and introduce better quality plant varieties to the market faster. NGTs are a key asset to help European farmers respond to the consequences of climate change. The decision was therefore expected and welcomed by Copa and Cogeca as a whole. Turning to the details of the voted text, it is agreed that certain NGT plants are similar to conventional plants and must follow the rules of conventional genetic improvement.