Niveau juridique : Union européenne
Texte de la question :
« Gene editing allows targeted corrections to be made to the DNA of plants: at present the technique most in vogue for this purpose is CRISPR, in which Monsanto is investing with the stated objective of creating super-sweet varieties of strawberries and apples. In the United States, this technology has been judged to be ‘safe’ although various studies have concluded that genetic mutation experiments using CRISPR resulted in ‘completely unexpected mutations’.
In the EU, the European Court of Justice has delivered a judgment in which it held that all mutagenetic techniques should be regarded as producing GMOs and that exceptions should be permitted only for techniques with a long history of safety. However, CRISPR technology is available to anyone, as it can be bought on the Internet, and in many European countries experiments are already being conducted with farm crops to create species that are resistant to pathogens.
Can the Commission say whether, in accordance with the precautionary principle, and bearing in mind the lack of consistent literature on the subject, it considers that more detailed studies and an assessment of the potential impact of CRISPR are needed before allowing experiments in genetic mutation to create super-fruit and/or modifications to bacteria and micro-organisms? »
Texte de la réponse :
« In Case C-528/16(1) referred to by the Honourable Member (2) is applicable to organisms obtained by those mutagenesis techniques that have emerged since its adoption.
Hence, experimental uses or field trials of any organism obtained by these techniques are permitted only after authorisation by the competent authorities of the Member States within whose territory the release is to take place. According to the Directive, the authorisation procedure includes assessment of environmental risks, control and remediation methods, waste treatment, emergency response and monitoring plans. Member States’ competent authorities decide whether to provide their consent, having considered any observations of other Member States and the Commission makes available all related information on its website (3).
Moreover, placing on the market in the EU requires an EU-wide authorisation under Directive 2001/18/EC, including a rigorous risk assessment of any potential adverse effect for human and animal health and the environment ».
(2) Directive 2001/18/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 12 March 2001 on the deliberate release into the environment of genetically modified organisms and repealing Council Directive 90/220/EEC, OJ L 106, 17.4.2001, p. 1-39.
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