ECJ judgment on genome editing

„Backward-minded and hostile to progress“

Utz Tillmann, director-general of the German chemical industry association VCI, voices his incomprehension at the judgment: it blocks successes in modern agriculture in the breeding of more robust crops with higher yields and impairs the production of biopharmaceuticals and bio-based chemicals.

Utz Tillmann, VCI director-general: “The ECJ judgment is not only an obstacle to faster successes in modern agriculture in the breeding of more robust crops with higher yields; it also impairs the production of biopharmaceuticals and bio-based chemicals." - Photo: © VCI / René Spalek
Utz Tillmann, VCI director-general: “The ECJ judgment is not only an obstacle to faster successes in modern agriculture in the breeding of more robust crops with higher yields; it also impairs the production of biopharmaceuticals and bio-based chemicals." - Photo: © VCI / René Spalek

Utz Tillmann, director-general of the German chemical industry association VCI, voices his incomprehension at the judgment by the European Court of Justice (ECJ) on the legal classification of genome editing. According to the ECJ, the use of molecular-biological methods such as Crispr/CAS leads to genetically modified organisms (GMOs) – even though their genetic material is identical with natural variants and conventional breeding methods.

“The ECJ judgment is backward-minded, hostile to progress and pointing the way to a side track. It adversely affects the innovation capability of the European Union as a biotechnology location and cuts it off from the developments in the rest of the world. The decision is not only an obstacle to faster successes in modern agriculture in the breeding of more robust crops with higher yields; it also impairs the production of biopharmaceuticals and bio-based chemicals. The Court takes the wrong standpoint on how to regulate genome editing methods, since researchers obtain with Crispr/CAS the same results as with conventional breeding methods – but much faster.”

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Contacts

Stud. Ass. Manfred Ritz

E-Mail: ritz@vci.de