Innovation & Intellectual Property

Scientific advisor to European Commission calls for updating GMO law

28 November 2018. In a recent interview (in Polish), member of the European Commission’s Scientific Advice Mechanism (SAM), Polish Professor Janusz Bujnicki, highlights that “The [EU law affecting GMOs and genome edited crops] should take into account the latest achievements of science. And if it ignores them, it does not serve humanity well at all.” The article highlights the advantages of new genome editing techniques that can introduce smaller and more controlled changes into the plant genome than older plant breeding methods using random mutagenesis, suggesting that there is no good reason to subject these newer, precision breeding techniques to strict GMO legislation. He notes that a group of SAM advisors proposes to update the GMO law “so that it protects consumers regardless of the technology of obtaining a given product, but at the same time does not deprive European consumers of the scientific achievements that are available elsewhere in the world." The comments follow the publication of a statement by the SAM’s Group of Chief Scientific Advisors on the Regulatory Status of Products Derived from Gene Editing and the Implications for the GMO Directive, which essentially recommends revising the existing GMO Directive of 2001 to reflect current knowledge and scientific evidence, in particular on genome editing and established techniques of genetic modification.​​ Read more on this subject in the rEvolutions newsletter and subscribe here.