The Romanian Academy of Agricuture and Forestry supports the UEAA Position Paper regarding the Genome Editing Biotechnologies and UEAA calls for a new EU Regulation

2.11. 2020


The Position of the Academy of Agricultural and Forestry Sciences ”Gheorghe Ionescu-Șișești”, Romania, regarding the Genome Editing Biotechnologies and UEAA calls for a new EU Regulation

Thanks for the Gene Editing and New EU Regulations document which was sent to us on October 31st 2020, regarding the need to regulate a genetic editing procedure (New Breeding Technologies -NBT).

As we notified the European Commission since 2006 (the year before Romania’s accession to EU, when the cultivation of genetically modified plants was banned causing incalculable losses to Romanian farmers), the way in which GMO’s are defined in the “Directive 2001/18/EC of March 12th, 2001 on the deliberate release into the environment of genetically modified organisms” is defective, incomplete and confusing, like the interpretations reflected in the European Court of Justice Decision in 2019. Consequently, we agree with the need for GMO’s regulations revisions in a clear and feasible manner regarding GMO’s definition. The actual definition does not suggest that these ones are genetic sequence modified organisms as a result of the insertion of exogenous genetic information so that it maintains the confusion generated by the unanimously accepted definition of the mutation (any change in the genetic information of an organism).

As we inserted in our letter addressed to the President of UEAA in June 2020, we believe that UEAA should have a harmonized position, as a reaction to the increasingly tendencies of the national and European decision makers to do not consider the opinions and gains of knowledge of the scientific environment. We are open to any solution for the introduction of NBTs into the body of technical regulations of the European Union, to avoid the inclusion in the GMO category of accidental and / or induced mutations in vivo and in vitro cultures, and / or of the microorganisms resulting from the NBTs application in plant and animal selection, with adequate properties to respond favorably to the challenges of global climate change. We do not believe that the GREEN DEAL initiative could have remarkable success without using all achievements of science and modern biotechnology, especially the genomic editing procedures.

Emeritus Professor Valeriu TABĂRĂ, PhD