Exploring EU Regulations Around Gene Editing: Slowly but Surely Gene Editing Goes Global

By the end of June 2023 at the earliest, the EU is expected to publish an updated regulatory proposal on new genomic techniques for plants. Currently, the EU's regulations on gene editing differ from other large agriculture-producing regions in the world, such as the US, Brazil, and Australia. These differences create challenges in the international trade and investment environment, among other things.

A key driver for a possible change in the EU’s current strict regulations includes its own ambitions for more sustainable agriculture, as outlined in the Farm to Fork Strategy. Other drivers for change are climate change and the desire to catch up on innovation with other parts of the world like the US and China. However, concerns about safety and the potential impact of gene-editing technology on the environment could hold back changes. We explore three different scenarios regarding this new proposal and the implications they could have for the development and adoption of gene-edited crops in the EU.