Apr. 30, 2021
EFSA Journal 2021;19(4):6314
Keywords: new genomic techniques, site-directed nuclease, oligonucleotide-directed mutagenesis, cisgenesis/intragenesis, RNA-dependent DNA methylation, agro-infiltration, base-editing, grafting, reverse breeding, genetically modified plants, risk assessment
On request from: European Commission
Question Number: EFSA-Q-2020-00103
The European Commission requested EFSA to provide an overview on the risk assessment of plants developed through new genomic techniques (NGTs), taking into account its previous scientific opinions, its ongoing work on the topic as well as opinions published by competent authorities and national institutions since 2012, where available. In this report, NGTs are defined as techniques capable to change the genetic material of an organism and have emerged or developed since the adoption of the 2001 genetically modified organism (GMO) legislation. EFSA considered 16 scientific opinions issued by European member states (‘MS opinions’) as well as three EFSA GMO Panel scientific opinions on NGTs. A procurement to evaluate and summarise the MS opinions was conducted. Relevant information on the description of each NGT and information on the risk assessment of plants developed through one or a combination of the defined NGTs was extracted and summarised. The baseline for the types and nature of NGTs to be included in this report was defined based on the JRC, 2011 report on new plant breeding techniques as well as on the Explanatory Note on New Techniques in Agricultural Biotechnology from the European Commissioner for Health and Food Safety (EC-SAM, 2017) for some more recently developed NGTs, taking into account the NGT definition provided by the European Commission for this mandate. EFSA was not requested to develop new opinions on plants developed through specific NGTs, and thus, no critical appraisal of the reviewed scientific opinions was carried out.
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