ENVI II Factsheet

Fact Sheet

The Committee on Environment, Health and Food Safety II

The Convention on Human Rights and Biomedicine (ETS No 164) (Oviedo Convention): The Oviedo Convention is the only international legally binding instrument on the protection of human rights in the biomedical field. It is a framework Convention aiming at protecting the dignity and identity of all human beings and guarantee everyone, without discrimination, respect for their integrity and other rights and fundamental freedoms with regard to the application of biology and medicine.

Directorate-General for Research and Innovation (DG RTD): This Commission department is responsible for EU policy on research, science and innovation, and defines and implements European Research and Innovation (R&I) policy to achieve the goals of its key flagship initiative, the Innovation Union.

European Medicines Agency (EMA): The European Medicines Agency (EMA) is a decentralised agency of the EU responsible for the scientific evaluation, supervision and safety monitoring of medicines in the EU. 

Human germline editing: The direct inheritable manipulation of the genome using molecular engineering techniques, often called “gene editing”. It can be applied in two different ways.  Somatic genetic modification adds, cuts, or changes the genes in some of the cells of an existing person, typically to alleviate a medical condition. Germline genetic modification would change the genes in eggs, sperm, or early embryos. Often referred to as “inheritable genetic modification” or “gene editing for reproduction”, these alterations would appear in all subsequent generations.

In Vitro Fertilisation (IVF): Refers to the process where a woman’s egg is fertilised in vitro (“in glass”) outside of her body in a laboratory. IVF is a type of assisted reproductive technology.