(Bloomberg) -- The European Commission will propose relaxing some of its rules on crop technology in an effort to ensure food security and help farmers cope with climate change.
The bloc is considering easing regulations for crops made with so-called new genomic technologies, which can improve tolerance to diseases, pests and environmental stresses, according to a draft proposal due to be unveiled by the commission next month, which has been seen by Bloomberg.
The shift is being considered as current rules aren’t keeping up with developments like gene editing, which the bloc ruled in 2018 should be subject to the same policies as all genetically-modified organisms. The EU in 2021 said it planned to review the bloc’s GMO legislation to reflect advances in gene-edited crops. The UK has also considered changing regulations to allow gene editing in farming after Brexit.
The rollback is intended for plants produced with targeted mutations, made without inserting genetic material, or modifications from the same or closely-related species. It will not apply to crops inserted with foreign species.
The commission’s proposal was reported earlier by the Financial Times.
Read more: QuickTake: Crispr, the Tool Giving DNA Editing Promise and Peril.
©2023 Bloomberg L.P.