Recommendation: EU Commission should change its approach
8 November 2022 / Testbiotech was commissioned by the Federation of German Consumer Organisations (Verbraucherzentrale Bundesverband, vzbv) to compile a report on the risks of ‘new genomic techniques’ (NGTs, also ‘new genetic engineering’, ‘New GE’ or ‘genome editing’) to health and the environment. The report identifies key points important for the regulation of organisms derived from New GE. Testbiotech proposes two pillars for future regulation: first, an assessment of the risks associated with intended and unintended genetic changes.
EU authority suggests template for far-reaching deregulation
31 October 2022 / The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has published a ‘statement’ on the future risk assessment of plants derived from new genome techniques (NGT), and thereby proposed a considerable reduction in currently valid regulations for genetically engineered plants. This would mean that, in most cases, future risk assessment would only take the intended characteristics of the plants into account, and set aside any unintended genetic changes caused by the genetic engineering processes.
Misleading report published on behalf of the EU Parliament
13 October 2022 / On 20 October, the ‘Panel for the Future of Science and Technology’ (STOA) at the European Parliament will host a presentation of a new report on plants derived from new genomic techniques (NGT, also New Genetic Engineering or genome editing). The authors of the report “Genome edited crops and 21st century food systems challenges” and their institute, the Vlaams Instituut voor Biotechnologie (VIB), are actively lobbying to deregulate agricultural plants derived from new genomic techniques (NGTs). However, the report fails to make this background transparent.
Calyxt raised high expectations
29 September 2022 / Calyxt was the first company to bring seeds derived from New Genetic Engineering to the US market. In 2019, the company started selling seeds for growing a soybean that had been genetically engineered in its oil content with gene scissors, and was supposedly suitable for the production of particularly healthy food. However, the soybean failed to produce the desired yields for farmers, and in 2020 Calyxt exited this line of business due to unprofitability. Sales and the value of Calyxt stock fell dramatically as a result.