European Ruling on Genome Editing

European Ruling on Genome Editing


The Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) has ruled that plants that have been produced in the laboratory using modern biological methods, such as CRISPR/Cas9, are genetically modified plants. As a result, they must oppose the stringent EU directives on genetically modified organisms (GMOs). According to the Association of the Chemical Industry (VCI), this judgment on the legal classification of genome editing is incomprehensible. The genetic material of the genetically modified organisms is identical to natural variants and to conventional breeding methods.

“The judgment of the CJEU is backward-looking and anti-progress oriented and thus leads to a dead end. It has a significant impact on the innovation capacity for biotech in the EU and disconnects the EU from the development in the rest of the world. The decision not only blocks faster successes in modern agriculture for growing more productive and robust plants, it also hinders the production of biopharmaceuticals and the production of bio-based chemicals. The CJEU’s assessment of how to regulate genome editing methods is wrong because researchers using CRISPR/Cas achieve the same results as conventional breeding—only much faster.”


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