Failure to agree on the issue of cloning today will see the revision of the European Union’s novel food regulation delayed for at least another two years, an industry adviser has said.
Commenting on the "last-chance" conciliation meeting taking place today between the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union (Council), EAS Food Law Manager Xavier Lavigne said that if there is no consensus at this meeting it will mean that the draft, which has been worked on for more than two years, will go back to the European Commission’s drawing board indefinitely.
By the end of last week the European Parliament and the Council had not yet been able to reach agreement on cloning despite undergoing the conciliation procedure this year. If today’s talks result in no agreement Mr. Lavigne estimated that the European Commission (Commission) will most likely defer discussions on novel food on the basis that the dossier is not ready for approval, and develop cloning and nanotechnologies frameworks in an aside document for future discussions on the regulation’s revision.
“Should the groups not reach agreement, this will be disappointing for regulators and industry alike as further discussions would potentially be delayed for a few years,” said Lavigne. “While the Parliament would like a ban on all foods from clones, the Commission and some members of Council have not accepted this as they consider offspring from clones to be bred using normal, or traditional, methods, therefore not falling under the definition of novel food.”
“If today’s conciliation attempt fails, the impact on the sector will be significant since many issues will remain unclear for the foreseeable future,” he said. “Certainly, the industry had hoped that the revision would accelerate the authorization procedure, for example, thereby providing a good incentive for research and innovation. Approval here currently takes up to three years—hardly an acceptable figure for a region struggling to demonstrate its innovative potential.”
For more information on EAS visit www.eas.eu.