Wednesday, January 6, 2021
EU Regulation of New Plant Breeding Technologies and their Possible Economic Implications for the EU and Beyond
Justus Wesseler (Wageningen University), Kai P. Purnhagen (University of Bayreuth), EU Regulation of New Plant Breeding Technologies and their Possible Economic Implications for the EU and Beyond, Bayreuth Working Paper Series Food Law (2020):
New plant breeding technologies (NPBTs), including CRISPR gene editing, are being used widely, and they are driving the development of new crops. They are nevertheless a subject of criticism and discussion. According to a summer 2018 interpretation by the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU), European Union (EU) law makes most NPBTS subject to regulations governing the use of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in the EU. The implications of this decision have been widely discussed in the literature, thereby stressing the importance of the decision for plant breeding and international trade within and beyond the EU. This contribution summarizes the status of the debate and highlights issues that have thus far not been considered—particularly with regard to the implications of EU regulations for NPBTs for countries outside the EU. We conclude that the practical implications of the CJEU decision reduce the EU’s comparative advantage and increase the cost of achieving the objectives of the European Green Deal. Our findings reveal an almost complete lack of possibilities for changing the current situation. China and countries oriented towards China are the most likely economic beneficiaries of the current situation.