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GMO laws must be changed, say top science advisers

EU laws on the use of genetically modified organisms are “no longer fit for purpose” and must be revised so as not to hamper research and innovation, the European Commission’s Group of Chief Scientific Advisors has said.

The EU directive on GMOs, which was adopted in 2001, is not appropriate for regulating genetic mutation techniques that have subsequently been developed, the advisers said in a statement published on 12 November.

“There is a need to improve EU GMO legislation to be clear, evidence-based, implementable, proportionate and flexible enough to cope with future advances in science and technology in this area,” the statement said. “To achieve this, we recommend revising the existing GMO Directive to reflect current knowledge and scientific evidence, in particular on gene editing and established techniques of genetic modification.”

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