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Future-Proofing EU Legislation for Genome-Edited Plants: Dutch Stakeholders’ Views on Possible Ways Forward

Wageningen Food Safety Research, Wageningen University and Research, Akkermaalsbos 2, P.O. Box 230, NL-6700 AE Wageningen, The Netherlands
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Academic Editors: Niels P. Louwaars and Bram de Jonge
Agronomy 2021, 11(7), 1331; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy11071331
Received: 31 May 2021 / Revised: 25 June 2021 / Accepted: 28 June 2021 / Published: 30 June 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Role of Policies in Plant Breeding—Rights and Obligations)
Genome editing is an emerging, new breeding technology with numerous potential applications in plant breeding. In Europe, genome editing is regarded, in legal terms, as a genetic modification technique, hence plants obtained using these methods fall under the legislation for genetically modified organisms (GMOs). Despite the opportunities that genome editing brings to the plant sector, it also poses challenges to the regulatory system. For example, the enforcement of labelling and traceability requirements for GM foods and feeds may be impossible for small genome edits that are indistinguishable from natural mutations. In order to discuss potential adaptations of EU legislation with stakeholders from the Dutch plant breeding sector, five different scenarios of future regulation of plants obtained by means of genome editing were elaborated. These scenarios were discussed in depth, along with the potential applications of genome editing in plant breeding, as well as challenges and opportunities. Stakeholders particularly indicated their preference for new, future-proof legislation in the long term, which will also include products of novel technologies. Finally, we discuss potential short-term amendments to current legislation, including the exemption of certain small mutations, that would make it align with regulation of genome edited plants in non-EU countries. View Full-Text
Keywords: CRISPR-Cas; genome editing; GMO regulation; plant breeding CRISPR-Cas; genome editing; GMO regulation; plant breeding
MDPI and ACS Style

van der Berg, J.P.; Bouwman, L.M.S.; Battaglia, E.; Kleter, G.A. Future-Proofing EU Legislation for Genome-Edited Plants: Dutch Stakeholders’ Views on Possible Ways Forward. Agronomy 2021, 11, 1331. https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy11071331

AMA Style

van der Berg JP, Bouwman LMS, Battaglia E, Kleter GA. Future-Proofing EU Legislation for Genome-Edited Plants: Dutch Stakeholders’ Views on Possible Ways Forward. Agronomy. 2021; 11(7):1331. https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy11071331

Chicago/Turabian Style

van der Berg, Jan P., Lianne M.S. Bouwman, Evy Battaglia, and Gijs A. Kleter 2021. "Future-Proofing EU Legislation for Genome-Edited Plants: Dutch Stakeholders’ Views on Possible Ways Forward" Agronomy 11, no. 7: 1331. https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy11071331

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