EFSA publish assessment of existing guidance appropriate for assessment of genome editing in plants

01 December 2020

Article: 54/4807

An assessment by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has concluded that 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.

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, and 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 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 legislation before being authorised.

Source: EFSA, 24 November 2020