French court rules that gene editing in crops falls under GMO rules

France’s highest administrative court – Conseil d’Etat – ruled that the use of gene editing techniques such as CRISPR on plants and crops needs to adhere to the regulations applicable to genetically modified organisms (GMO). Authorities have to revise regulations on GMO varieties to include gene-editing-based crops within six months. Crops that are already approved for cultivation should be listed within nine months, and there is a possibility that some varieties would be banned. The court’s decision is in line with a ruling issued in 2018 by the Court of Justice of the European Union, which said that gene editing falls under GMO legislation.