Calls for mandatory risk assessment intensify
12 December 2023 / The EU agriculture ministers did not approve the proposal to deregulate plants derived from new genetic engineering (New GE, also new genomic techniques, NGT) at their meeting on 11 December. The Spanish EU Council Presidency put the regulatory proposal to the vote with only minor amendments. If approved, the Commission proposal would allow the release and marketing of genetically engineered plants, e. g. plants altered with CRISPR/Cas gene scissors, without prior mandatory risk assessment.
Warning of danger to health and the environment
5 December 2023 / A number of European scientists have issued a joint statement warning against approval in the EU of plants obtained from new genetic engineering (New GE or new genomic techniques, NGT) that are not risk assessed. The signatories all work in the fields of, amongst others, molecular biology, technology assessment, environmental sciences and medicine. None of them have any economic interests linked to the development and marketing of genetically engineered organisms.
New data review focused on oilseed rape and camelina
28 November 2023 / A review of the data in current publications shows that the cultivation of plants obtained from new genetic engineering (New GE, or new genomic techniques, NGT) may put pollinators, such as bees, at risk. In addition to nectar, pollinators collect pollen from flowering plants such as oilseed rape and camelina. However, the composition of New GE plants can be altered in a way that it makes the pollen unsuitable as a food source for insects.
Will salmon with artificially-induced genetic defects be released in Norway?
21 November 2023 / An application for the experimental release of salmon obtained from new genetic engineering (New GE, also new genomic techniques, NGT) was submitted in Norway in April 2023. This is the very first application in Europe. Now, a risk assessment of the genetically engineered salmon undertaken by Norwegian scientists came to a negative conclusion. CRISPR/Cas was used in the salmon to switch off the genes responsible for the development of the reproductive organs. The intention was to use the sterile salmon for fattening in aquaculture.