European Union: Agricultural Biotechnology Annual
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The European Union’s (EU) complex and lengthy policy framework for biotechnology creates a challenging environment for research and limits access to innovative tools for EU farmers. As such, the EU imports large amounts of genetically engineered (GE) feed and produces very few of its own GE crops. Public acceptance of GE crops is low, and in July 2018, the European Court of Justice issued its judgment that organisms created through innovative biotechnologies should be regulated as GE organisms in the EU. The new Commission’s flagship Green Deal also aims at drastically reducing the use of plant protection products and incorporating sustainability criteria into the agricultural biotechnology approval process. This could further limit access to these tools for EU farmers. In addition, upon specific requests of some Member States, the Council of the EU asked the European Commission to submit a study on new genomic techniques and if necessary, an associated legislative proposal by April 2021.