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Parliamentary questions
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11 February 2019
E-006173/2018(ASW)
Answer given by Mr Andriukaitis on behalf of the European Commission
Question reference: E-006173/2018

1. The Group of Chief Scientific Advisors issued in 2017 an explanatory note describing the nature and characteristics of new breeding techniques and their similarities and differences compared to conventional techniques and established techniques of genetic modification(1). This note, requested by the Commission, contributed significantly to the general scientific understanding and the debate on new breeding techniques. The recent statement of the Chief Scientific Advisors(2) also feeds into the ongoing discussions on new techniques. The Commission is now considering the need to consult the European Food Safety Authority regarding the applicability of current risk assessment guidance to products obtained with new mutagenesis techniques. At this point in time, the Commission is not planning to request a follow up to the previous explanatory note of the Group of Chief Scientific Advisors on new breeding techniques.

2 and 3. The Parties to the Cartagena Protocol can apply more stringent rules than those of the Protocol insofar as they are consistent with its objectives and provisions and in accordance with international law. The Commission considers that the Genetically Modified Organisms definition in the EU legislation fulfils these requirements and, therefore, does not see the need for action in this respect.

(1)https://ec.europa.eu/research/sam/index.cfm?pg=agribiotechnology
(2)https://ec.europa.eu/info/sites/info/files/2018_11_gcsa_statement_gene_editing_1.pdf

Last updated: 11 February 2019Legal notice