New genomic techniques and traceability requirements
Question for written answer E-002451/2023
to the Commission
Chris MacManus (The Left)
Under the Commission’s legislative proposal on new genomic techniques (NGTs), category 1 NGT plants are any plants that meet the criteria to be considered equivalent to conventional plants, with modifications that could have been produced through conventional breeding. The proposal would exempt category 1 NGT plants from traceability requirements.
The European Patent Office has confirmed that NGT plant innovators will continue to apply for patents under the system used for genetically modified organisms. This creates a situation whereby a breeder could produce, through conventional breeding, a plant similar to a category 1 NGT plant patented by another actor. With no traceability requirements, it would not be possible to prove that the material of the patent holder had not been used in the conventional breeding of the similar plant.
- 1.Does the NGT proposal contain any provisions that would prevent a patent holder from accusing conventional breeders of violating their intellectual property rights in relation to a category 1 NGT plant?
- 2.If not, what measures will the Commission take to prevent this from happening?
- 3.What steps is it taking to ensure that the NGT proposal does not create legal uncertainty for breeders using conventional breeding and thereby threaten innovation in the breeding sector?
-  Commission proposal of 5 July 2023 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 (COM(2023)0411).