Legislation governing genetically modified (GM) and genome edited crops in Europe: The need for change

A - Papers appearing in refereed journals

Halford, N. G. 2019. Legislation governing genetically modified (GM) and genome edited crops in Europe: The need for change. Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture. 99 (1), pp. 8-12.

AuthorsHalford, N. G.
Abstract

The European Commission’s assessment and approval process for genetically modified (GM) crops has resulted in only two GM crop varieties being licensed for cultivation in the European Union, one of which has been withdrawn. Unable to define GM crops satisfactorily, the European Commission has fallen back on a definition based on process. The shortcomings of this approach are all-too-clear as the Commission grapples with the advent of genome editing. This has led to a long and damaging delay in the Commission issuing an opinion on how genome edited crops should be regulated. At the same time, national bans imposed by Member States on GM crops without any evidence of safety concerns have been legalised. The Commission also faces the prospect of assessing an increasing number of GM and genome edited crops with deliberately altered composition. In this article, the operation of regulations covering GM crops in the European Union and the effect they have had on the development of plant biotechnology are reviewed, while the issues raised by new technologies are discussed. It is argued that there is an urgent need for the European Union to shift its position on plant biotechnology if agriculture is to meet the challenges of coming decades.

Keywordsgenetic modification; genome editing; plant biotechnology; crop composition; regulation
Year of Publication2019
JournalJournal of the Science of Food and Agriculture
Journal citation99 (1), pp. 8-12
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)doi:10.1002/jsfa.9227
PubMed ID29952140
Open accessPublished as ‘gold’ (paid) open access
FunderBiotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council
Funder project or codeDesigning Future Wheat (DFW) [ISPG]
DFW - Designing Future Wheat - Work package 1 (WP1) - Increased efficiency and sustainability
Publisher's version
Output statusPublished
Publication dates
Online27 Jun 2018
Publication process dates
Accepted23 Jun 2018
PublisherWiley-Blackwell
Wiley
Copyright licenseCC BY
ISSN0022-5142

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