The agricultural sector is met with ever increasing challenges and innovation is the key to enable European agriculture to transition to a more sustainable, economically viable form of farming whilst adapting to climate change and ensuring food affordability and security.
NGTs products have the potential to contribute to sustainable food systems with plants more resistant to diseases, environmental conditions, and climate change effects.
The proposal is subject of an ongoing opinion in the CoR in the NAT Commission, which was up for vote this week. The opinion in its entirety was nearly rejected but was short of just two votes.
Our NAT member Lorenzo Galligani explained why the ECR Group was not able to support the opinion drawn up the socialists: "Farmers need a broader and more innovative toolbox to produce enough food and feed, despite increasing challenges. We will have to vote against the opinion today as it questions the introduction of the New Genomic Techniques (NGTs) in European agriculture and their liberalisation stating that there are only theoretical proofs of their usefulness to accompany farmers into climate adaptation".
The opinion also controversially calls for all NGT plants to remain subject to GMO legislation to ensure traceability including labelling, throughout the entire value chain from the seed to the plate.
Let's hope that the final opinion will reflect the pragmatic approach taken by MEPs when it's up for adoption at the April plenary. Today MEPs adopted their position in the plenary session of the European Parliament supporting a simpler process for NGT plants equivalent to conventional plants.