Proposal to revise the criteria in Annex I of the EC proposal for new legislation for NGT plants

July this year, COGEM issued an opinion on the European Commission’s (EC) proposal for new legislation for plants produced by ‘New Genomic Techniques’ (NGTs), i.e. targeted mutagenesis and cisgenesis. In its opinion, COGEM stated that the EC proposal was in line with previous COGEM opinions. Furthermore, COGEM was of the opinion that human and environmental safety would continue to be guaranteed with the proposal to adapt the current legislation on GMOs. With regard to the criteria in Annex I of the proposal that were drawn up to distinguish between plants that are and are not comparable to conventionally bred plants, COGEM noted that these lack scientific foundation and need clarification and adjustment. Partly in view of the very short deadline for the advice, COGEM did not make a proposal for adjustment of the criteria at the time.
In the meantime, the EC has published a Technical paper presenting a rationale for the criteria in Annex I. In response to this and in order to support the Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment, COGEM in this advice presents a concrete text proposal for adapting and improving Annex I.