In this statement EASAC express its views on the critical importance of supporting innovation in plant breeding to contribute to EU objectives in agriculture and food and nutrition security.
EASAC recommends that:
- EU policy development for agricultural innovation should be transparent, proportionate and fully informed by the advancing scientific evidence and experience worldwide.
- It is timely to resolve current legislative uncertainties. We ask that EU regulators confirm that the products of New Breeding Techniques, when they do not contain foreign DNA, do not fall within the scope of GMO legislation.
- The aim in the EU should be to regulate the specific agricultural trait and/or product, not the technology.
- The European Commission and Member States should do more to support fundamental research in plant sciences and protect the testing in field trials of novel crop variants.
- Modernising EU regulatory frameworks would help to address the implications of current policy disconnects in support of science and innovation at regional and global levels. At the same time, there is also continuing need for wide-ranging engagement on critical issues and this should include re-examination of the appropriate use of the precautionary principle.