On the 25thof July 2018, the European Court of Justice delivered a massive blow to European plant breeding, to European agriculture and with that to European consumers. On that day, the ECJ decided to entirely ignore the opinion of EU’s Advocate General Bobek on the matter and ruled that crops obtained by mutagenesis are GMO’s and are in principle, subject to the legislations laid down by the GMO Directive. This ruling means that much of the potential of plant breeding innovation will be lost for Europe. Public research into these applications will largely come to an end as crucial industry co-funding will dry out and public-private partnerships lack the necessary economic basis. This will have dramatic consequences for product development in Europe. Several of the major breeding companies have announced they will no longer pursue advanced genetic plant breeding anymore in Europe. Europe will (again) start to lag further behind the rest of the world.

Have you ever wondered which are the various European institutions that are involved in decision-making at EU level and how they interact? European Seed takes a closer look at the European Parliament, the European Council, the Council, and the European Commission. At the same time, it puts the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) and its proposals for 2020 under the magnifying glass and wonders if there is still common ground.

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