Genome Editing, Italy presses on the accelerator, but Germany says no: they are like GMOs
Italy is asking to speed up authorization for genome editing in agriculture and assisted evolution techniques, but Germany wants to stop everything. Frozen shower in Europe, where an opening towards new genetic improvement technologies in the agricultural field is expected for the next legislature. In our country, Italy’s CREA is working in the laboratory but awaits a law to be able to field test all the plants designed to respond to the current challenges related to climate change and the Farm to Fork, which provides for a cut in pesticides of up to 65% within 2030.
However, serious perplexities emerge from the German country which risks undermining the regulatory path for the future marketing phase: the German Ministry of Agriculture has expressed its opposition to the deregulation of these techniques.
“There have been calls for deregulation of NGT bodies,” senior ministry official Silvia Bender told a scientific conference last week. “I think this conclusion is too short-sighted and does not conform to my understanding of transparency”, she said, also underlining the fact that the EU “is still trying to find an adequate position on this matter”. Bender stressed the importance of safeguarding the freedom of choice of producers, retailers and consumers, i.e. making sure they know whether they are buying or trading a product made using NGT or not. For the official, transparency on genetically modified products is also a condition for the coexistence of techniques with the organic and GMO-free sector, which must be able to trace the origin of its products and inputs.