Techniques to alter the genome of an organism could contribute to a more sustainable EU food system, a study published by the European Commission shows.
The study on new genomic techniques (NGTs) highlights their potential role in meeting the objectives of the European Green Deal and the Farm to Fork Strategy.
The study also found that the current genetically modified organism (GMO) legislation adopted in 2001 is not fit for purpose for these newer technologies.
The Commission now intends to start a wide and open consultation process to discuss the design of a new legal framework for NGTs.
Commissioner for Health and Food Safety Stella Kyriakides said: "The study we publish today concludes that new genomic techniques can promote the sustainability of agricultural production, in line with the objectives of our Farm to Fork Strategy.
“With the safety of consumers and the environment as the guiding principle, now is the moment to have an open dialogue with citizens, member states and the European Parliament to jointly decide the way forward for the use of these biotechnologies in the EU."
NGTs are defined as all techniques to alter the genome of an organism developed after 2001.
The study will be discussed with EU ministers at the agriculture council in May.
The Commission will also discuss its findings with the European Parliament.
In the coming months, an impact assessment, including a public consultation, will be carried out to explore policy options concerning the regulation of plants derived from certain NGTs.