b'EU MUST STOP FRENCH INTERPRETATION OF MUTAGENESIS PLANT BREEDING AND PRESERVE COMMON MARKET FOR SEEDIF DECREE ADOPTED AND PUBLISHED, VARIETIES RESULTING FROM SUCH FORM OF RANDOM IN VITRO MUTAGENESIS WOULD BE PROHIBITED FOR MARKETING AND CULTIVATION IN FRANCE. BY: PETRA JORASCH & GARLICH VON ESSENT he Common Market is one of the cornerstones and success stories of the European Union. Clearly, this can equally be stated for the specific Common Market for Seed as estab-lished by the Seed Marketing Directives in the 1960s and later by the Common Catalogues for both agricultural and vegetable species. Varieties authorised according to a common set of rules by any Member State may be freely marketed and used in the entire Union; as a result, more choice and higher quality is avail-able to Europes farmers than ever before. Any deterioration of this Common Market, any national deviations or misinterpreta-tions and attempts to close of markets from competition from other Member States therefore gets alarm bells ringing, fore-most in the EU Commission and Member States; but also in seed companies, farming groups and entire value chains in Europe and internationally. For the EU, the specific instrument of the TRIS, an obligatory notification procedure of internal market relevant national legislation, has been established to safeguard the Common Market from such national attempts.As prescribed by this specific EU law, France notified the EU of its draft national Decree amending the list of techniques for obtaining genetically modified organisms traditionally used without any noted drawbacks with regard to public health or the environment (Decree Notification No 2020/280/F). While the decree claims to specify those mutagenesis techniques to be exempted from the scope of the regulations relating to GMOs in France, it practically does the opposite by singling out inPetra Joraschvitro random mutagenesis consisting in subjecting plant cells cultivated in vitro to chemical or physical mutagenic agents as the sole method to which the exemption may not apply, i.e. which would result in regulated GMOs. Consequently, once this decree would be adopted and published, varieties resulting from suchThere is no technical, form of random in vitro mutagenesis would be prohibited for mar-keting and cultivation in France since they lack evaluation andbiological, scientific, or legal authorization under the new French GM rule.justification for this specific PUSHING THE BOUNDARIES: FROM NATIONALfocus on herbicide tolerant INTERPRETATION TO PRINCIPAL CHANGEFrance also notified an order to amend the French national cata- oilseed rape varieties.logue of plant varieties as well as a draft list of rapeseed varieties resulting from in vitro mutagenesis that now would be regarded as non-exempted GMOs in France and with that deleted from the French national catalogue and banned from cultivation in France.24IEUROPEAN SEEDIEUROPEAN-SEED.COM'