GMO advocates say Renan wheat is a GMO according to the EU definition – but an investigation by a French NGO shows they are lying
The judgment of the Court of Justice of the European Union of July 25, 2018 on the GMO character of plants resulting from new gene-editing techniques (called in the case "mutagenesis") did not please everyone. To justify their opposition to this judgment, some commentators claim that it makes the most widely used variety of wheat in organic farming, Renan, a GMO. Frédéric Prat of the French NGO, Inf'OGM, delved into the historical records, not without difficulty since not all the information is public, to understand the various techniques that allowed the development of this variety.
Frédéric Prat's conclusion is clear: the variety Renan is not a GMO in the sense of European and international regulations. However, some "improvement" processes were implemented, involving a synthetic chemical, to obtain it. And it's reasonable to question whether these are desirable in organic breeding.
The article ends by looking at the future of organic wheat breeding, which looks bright. Several hundred "peasant" varieties of wheat have been identified and are being grown by farmers. Many of them show good performance and resilience to environmental stresses. And they don't involve any risky processes using synthetic chemicals or radiation – or, of course, GM.
Read the complete article here: http://www.infogm.org/gmo-or-not-the-point-on-wheat-variety-renan