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Scientific advisers issue agriculture explainer

Agricultural breeding techniques have become more precise, but their safety must be evaluated on a case-by-case basis, European Commission science advisers have concluded.

An explanatory note on ‘New Techniques in Agricultural Biotechnology’ was published by the Commission’s Scientific Advice Mechanism (SAM) high-level expert group, a team of seven prominent scientific advisers, on 28 April.

The group looked at new biotechnology techniques for introducing desirable traits to animals, plants and microorganisms used in food production. Some of these new breeding techniques (NBTs) are methods of genetic modification, which are contentious in the EU and staunchly opposed by non-governmental organisations including Greenpeace.

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