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Genetically engineered plants: will the EU follow the 'American way’ in agriculture?

New videos aim to promote controversial, but science-based discussion

15 February 2024 / The EU Commission, the Council of Ministers and the Parliament are currently discussing the future regulation of plants obtained from new genetic engineering (New GE or NGT) in the EU. At the moment, the issues linked to NGTs remain controversial with no agreement in sight. One crucial question in this debate touches on which negative consequences must be avoided if, in future, genetically engineered plants are also grown in Europe.

EU Parliament in favour for deregulation of NGT plants, BUT …

Contradictory results in Strasbourg

7 February 2024 / The EU Parliament (EP) today voted in favour of the deregulation of plants derived from new genetic engineering (NGT). It is doubtful that all MEPs have understood what they decided. A comment by Pascal Canfin on X (formerly Twitter), in which he claims that these plants would only be used to save pesticides and combat climate change, seems almost satirical. Canfin is chairman of the EP’s Environment Committee. He also suggested that a vote should be held first and only then should EFSA be asked for a further opinion on the risks.

New publication highlights the risks of NGT oilseed rape

Crucial questions on future regulation of NGT plants still unresolved

6 February 2024 / A new study, which has appeared as a 'preprint', highlights the environmental risks associated with the use of new genetic engineering (NGTs) in oilseed crops, such as rapeseed and camelina. These plants are by no means harmless in the environment: a frequently pursued goal is a change in the composition of the oil. However, both increasing and decreasing the polyunsaturated fatty acid content can have negative effects on pollinators feeding on the pollen of the NGT plants. 

CRISPR tomatoes now on the shelves

Fruits supposedly improves quality of sleep

5 February 2024 / The first CRISPR tomatoes are now on the shelves in Japan. The 'GABA tomato' was developed with new genetic engineering techniques (NGTs). This is shown by photo just recently taken in a supermarket in the Tokyo region. According to the information on the packages, the tomatoes will lower blood pressure, relieve mental stress and improve sleep quality. Experts are doubting that the consumption of the fruits goes along with such effects.

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