Existing guidance appropriate for assessment of genome editing in plants
Genome editing techniques that modify the DNA of plants do not pose more hazards than conventional breeding or techniques that introduce new DNA into a plant, an EFSA assessment concludes.
The scientific opinion focuses on plants produced using different genome editing techniques: site-directed nuclease-1 (SDN-1), site-directed nuclease-2 techniques (SDN-2) and oligonucleotide-directed mutagenesis (ODM). These differ from site-directed nucleases-3 (SDN-3), which was assessed by EFSA in 2012, because they modify a specific region of the genome without introducing new DNA.
Experts concluded that the existing guidance for risk assessment of genetically modified plants is applicable for the evaluation of the three new techniques. However, fewer data for the risk assessment might be needed due to the absence of new DNA.
Genome editing changes the DNA of animals, plants and microorganisms with high precision. The technology has a wide range of applications – from new therapies for cancer and inherited diseases, to increasing the muscle mass of livestock.
It can also be used to produce plants with desired traits, such as disease resistance, drought tolerance, or enhanced nutritional profiles. However, there is a societal concern genome editing may have an e impact on may lead to adverse effects to human health and the environment.
Currently, in the EU genome edited organisms are required to undergo a safety assessment according to the provisions laid down in the GMO legislation before being authorised.
Acknowledging the need for adequate risk assessment guidelines before these plants are considered for deployment in the European Union, the European Commission asked EFSA to assess whether its guidelines for the risk assessment of genetically modified plants can be used for the risk assessment of plants produced with ODM, SDN-1 and SDN-2.
The scientific opinion will also inform the ongoing Commission’s ongoing study on new genomic techniques.
Earlier this month EFSA published a scientific opinion on genetically modified insects containing gene drives, a closely related technology.
If you are a Journalist/Media representative, please contact our Media Relations Office. Otherwise, please use the Ask EFSA Service.
Latest News from
EIB provides €20 million to support RDI activities and growth at Galenicum27/01/2021 09:25:00
The European Investment Bank (EIB) will provide €20 million to finance the research, development and innovation (RDI) programme of Galenicum, a pharmaceutical company founded in Barcelona in 2003 that aims to improve the quality and affordability of medicines.
First BlueInvest fund agreements secure €45 million for the blue economy26/01/2021 16:33:00
The European Commission is partnering with the European Investment Fund, to announce €45 million of BlueInvest fund financing into 2 funds targeting the blue economy across Europe.
Coming up in Parliament: vaccines, circular economy, migration26/01/2021 15:25:00
During a packed committee week, MEPs will talk about vaccines and sustainability as well as hold a hearing about Portugal’s priorities for the Council presidency the next six months.
Council adopts conclusions on climate and energy diplomacy26/01/2021 14:33:00
The Council yesterday adopted conclusions on ʻClimate and Energy Diplomacy – Delivering on the external dimension of the European Green Dealʼ.
European Commission launches Green Consumption Pledge, first companies commit to concrete actions towards greater sustainability26/01/2021 13:25:00
The European Commission yesterday launched its new Green Consumption Pledge, the first initiative delivered under the New Consumer Agenda.
European Parliament to commemorate 76 years since the liberation of Auschwitz26/01/2021 11:33:00
A virtual ceremony, including speeches by European Parliament President David Sassoli and guests, will be held on Wednesday 27 January.
Press statement by Commissioner Kyriakides on vaccine deliveries and on the vaccine export transparency scheme26/01/2021 10:33:00
Press statement given yesterday by Commissioner Kyriakides on vaccine deliveries and on the vaccine export transparency scheme.
Coronavirus: Commission proposes update to coordinated approach on free movement restrictions26/01/2021 09:25:00
The Commission yesterday proposed an update to the Council Recommendation of last October coordinating measures affecting free movement in the European Union.
Coronavirus: Commission proposes additional safeguards on travel from outside the EU and updated criteria for applying travel restrictions25/01/2021 15:25:00
Today the Commission is proposing additional safeguards and requirements for international travellers into the EU.