New techniques in agricultural biotechnology

Scientific advice exploring potential new techniques in agricultural biotechnology


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Explanatory Note on New Techniques in Agricultural Biotechnology

Following a request from the College of Commissioners, led by Commissioner Andriukaitis for Health and Food Safety, the Group of Chief Scientific Advisors adopted during their 5th meeting (25 November 2016) the scoping paper for the topic “New techniques in agricultural biotechnology”.

This adoption followed preliminary discussion during the 3rd Group of Chief Scientific Advisors meeting (25 July 2016), and a more detailed discussion with Commissioner Andriukaitis, during their 4th meeting (28 September 2016).

The explanatory note was delivered to the College on 28 April 2017. It provides a comprehensive scientific comparison covering the whole spectrum of breeding techniques used for agricultural applications (conventional breeding techniques, established genetic modification and new breeding techniques), according to various criteria including the detectability and identification of products, the speed with which the desired outcome can be obtained, etc.

Experts nominated by SAPEA (Science Advice for Policy by European Academies) were invited to participate in co-ordination group meetings with members of the Group of Chief Scientific Advisors. The experts completed declarations of interest forms which were assessed by the Commission. No conflicts of interest were identified.

These declarations of interest were published at the same time as the Group of Chief Scientific Advisors’ scientific advice and remained available for consultation for six months.

Declarations of interest are retained by the Commission in line with Regulation 45/2001

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Related topic activities

Workshop - ‘Modern Agriculture Biotechnology Calling’, part of the 5th Meeting of the World Congress for Freedom of Scientific Research

12 April 2018, European Parliament, Brussels

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Panel of speakers of the 'Modern Agricultural Biotechnology Calling' session

The Group’s Explanatory Note on New Techniques in Agricultural Biotechnology, was presented by Professor Janusz Bujnicki, member of the Group of Chief Scientific Advisors and by Professor Joachim Schiemann, one of the SAPEA experts who contributed to the Note. A broad range of stakeholders engaged in lively discussion with both experts and also heard the Commissioner for Health and Food Safety, Vytenis Andriukaitis’s keynote presentation.

SAM explanatory note discussed at stakeholder event: Modern Biotechnologies in Agriculture – paving the way for responsible innovation

28 September 2017, Brussels

Professor Janusz Bujnicki presented the group's explanatory note on 'New Techniques in Agricultural Biotechnology' as a keynote speaker at this one-day conference.

Speakers and attendees at the event debated how the EU can benefit from modern biotechnologies and innovation in the food and agricultural sector while maintaining high safety standards.

In addition to European Commissioners Vytenis Andriukaitis and Phil Hogan (Health and Food Safety and Agriculture and Rural Development respectively), and Estonian Minister of Rural Affairs, Tarmo Tamm, the event brought together a wide range of stakeholders from civil society, industry, science and Member State governments.

More about the conference