The Graduate School Experimental Plant Sciences (EPS)

European Citizens’ Initiative Grow Scientific Progress – Crops Matter

A group of MSc students has taken the initiative to contribute to responsible agricultural innovation in the EU by urging the European commission to improve the outdated legislation on plant breeding.

The current regulatory system results in an implicit ban of new plant breeding techniques. These new techniques are valuable tools for breeding more resilient crops, with less resources and in less time: a much-needed advancement in times of climate change and prospected food insecurity – and thus something we simply cannot afford to miss out on.

The Grow Scientific Progress – Crops Matter committee has submitted a detailed proposal to the European Commission in the form of a European Citizens’ Initiative. In this proposal, the committee outlines changes to the current law that take into account important advancements in plant breeding techniques. Most importantly, the committee proposes to focus on the crop/product rather than the technique. In this way safety is ensured while the valuable benefits of new techniques are not lost to illogical regulatory hurdles.

Grow Scientific Progress – Crops Matter is gathering one million signatures from EU citizens who would like to support this initiative. With this support,  Grow Scientific Progress – Crops Matter would like to demand an update of the legislation to foster responsible innovation, sustainability and safety for the current and future generations.

You can support this initiative on If you have any questions or want to join the discussion, feel free to contact Grow Scientific Progress – Crops Matter on social media.