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Overview of sixteen scientific opinions on genetically modified plants obtained by new genomic techniques

on the Wiley Online Library

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Disclaimer:The present document has been produced and adopted by the bodies identified above as author. This task has been carried out exclusively by the author in the context of a contract between the European Food Safety Authority and the author, awarded following a tender procedure. The present document is published complying with the transparency principle to which the Authority is subject. It may not be considered as an output adopted by the Authority. The European Food Safety Authority reserves its rights, view and position as regards the issues addressed and the conclusions reached in the present document, without prejudice to the rights of the authors.

Abstract

RIVM was asked by EFSA in the frame of a procurement (PO/EFSA/GMO/2020/01) to producean overview of 16 scientific opinions published by European competent authorities and national institutions since 2012 ongenetically modified plants obtained by new genomic techniques (NGTs). The 16 opinions were provided by the European Commission in the frame of a mandate asking EFSA to provide an overview on the risk assessment of plants developed through NGTsbased on its own previous and current work and on work carried out at national level. NGTs are defined as techniques capable to change the genetic material of an organism and that have emerged or have been developed since the adoption of the GMO legislation in 2001. Based on this definition for NGTs provided by EC, the following NGTs as described in a report of the Joint Research Council on new plant breeding techniques, published in 2011, were considered: (1) Zinc finger nuclease technology, (defined more broadly as site‐directed nuclease technology); (2) oligonucleotide directed mutagenesis; (3) cisgenesis and intragenesis; (4) RNA‐dependent DNA methylation; (5) grafting (on genetically modified rootstock); (6) reverse breeding; (7) agro‐infiltration and (8) synthetic genomics.The current report presents the information on the defined NGTsmethod descriptionand on the risk assessment of plants developed through these NGTs, as extracted from the 16opinions. In order to extract the relevant information a baseline descriptionfor each NGT was set and inclusion and exclusion criteria for information extraction were defined. Most (14 out of 16) opinions discuss the SDN technology, whereas no opinion contains information on synthetic genomics. A new NGT, base‐editing, is described in four opinions and therefore information on this technique is also presented.As specified by the procurement, no critical appraisal onthe information extracted from the scientific opinions was performed.

This publication is linked to the following EFSA Journal article: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.2903/j.efsa.2021.6314/full