b'REGULATORYKEEPING YOU INFORMED OF LEGISLATIVE AND REGULATORY CHANGES IN EUROPE AND ABROAD FROM LAWSUITS TO APPROVALS TO OTHER REGULATORY ISSUES AFFECTING YOUR BUSINESS.NATIONAL or APHIS State plant health director. Please hold onto the seeds and packaging, including the mailing label, until someone from 132 RESEARCH BODIES URGE THE EU TO RECONSIDER STANCEyour State department of agriculture or APHIS contacts you with ON GENOME EDITING further instructions. Do not plant seeds from unknown origins.The European Sustainable Agriculture through Genome EditingThe Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) has received (EU-SAGE) network and its members from 132 Europeanreports from more than 750 individuals across all Canadian prov-research institutes and associations urge the European Council,inces who have received unrequested packages of unknown European Parliament, and the European Commission to recon- seeds. There have been no reports of unsolicited seeds in the sider their stance on genome editing, which is one of the toolsterritories.needed to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. In anIn collaboration with the Canadian public, the CFIA contin-open statement, the EU-SAGE network said that developing newues to collect information on these unsolicited seed packages, crop varieties need tools that are safe, easy, and fast, and theincluding information about the contents, on the sender, return latest addition to these tools is precision breeding or genomeaddress (if any), postmark, and how the package was labeled.editing. Information that CFIA has collected to date includes:The use of precision breeding techniques, however, hasThe packages are postmarked as being from several dif-been halted in Europe on July 25, 2018, due to the ruling offerent countries and many are declared as toys or jewelry. the European Court of Justice which placed all crops developedAs a result, it is difficult to identify the packages as con-through this technique under prohibitively strict GMO regula- taining seeds when they arrive in the country.tions, even if no foreign DNA was introduced in the crops.The seeds are from a range of plant species, including The open statement strongly recommends the followingtomato, strawberry, rose and citrus, as well as some weed to the European Council, the European Parliament, and theseeds that are common in Canada (for example, shep-European Commission: herds purse and flixweed). European scientists advise revising the existing GMO Based on visual inspections carried out to date, the seeds Directive to reflect current scientific knowledge and evi- appear to be low risk, however, Canadians are being cau-dence on genome editing.tioned to not plant these seeds from unknown origins Genome editing offers an increasing range of solutions for a more efficient selection of crops that are climate-resil- CUBA PASSES LAW TO CREATE REGULATING COMMISSION FOR ient, less dependent on fertilizers and pesticides, and helpTHE USE OF GMOSpreserve natural resources. The members recommendCuba published a decree law that creates a commission to reg-that the European Commission endorse their messageulate the use of genetically modified organisms (GMOs). The for the benefit and welfare of all EU citizens. Ministerio de Ciencia, Tecnologa y Medio Ambiente (CITMA)There is an urgent need for harmonization of the regula- will chair the new Commission to ensure that there is a consist-tory framework worldwide. ent and comprehensive decision-making process in regulatingA narrative for European food production that includesGMOs while at the same time taking into consideration the inter-the importance of innovative, more efficient approachesests of the state as this will apply to all activities in the Cuban in the whole value chain is necessary. agriculture sector.The law aims to regulate the research, development, pro-INTERNATIONAL duction, use, import, and export of GMOs while promoting the participation of science, technology and innovation, universities, USDA, CFIA INVESTIGATES PACKAGES OF UNSOLICITED SEEDSprivate companies, and government and national entities. The FROM CHINA law also enforces that all GMO-related activities will have an The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) is awareadequate risk assessment, precaution, transparency, sufficient that people across the country have received suspicious, unso- communication, and ethical responsibility during implementa-licited packages of seed that appear to be coming from China.tion. It also requires the development of a unique and differ-USDAs Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) isentiated GMO traceability and labeling system which must be working closely with the Department of Homeland Securitysimplemented prior to any product commercialization.Customs and Border Protection, other federal agencies, andThe law intends to create a structure on the basis of envi-State departments of agriculture to investigate the situation. ronmental and biological safety by using scientific and feasible USDA urges anyone who receives an unsolicited package ofevaluation methods with a coherent and transparent approval seeds to immediately contact their State plant regulatory officialsystem.58IEUROPEAN SEEDIEUROPEAN-SEED.COM'