June 10, 2021

#EU40Talks: Examining Plant Gene Editing Technologies

On 9 June, 2021, the EU40 – Network of Young MEPs organised a virtual discussion on the topic of New Breeding Techniques as part of our ongoing successful #EU40Talks series. The conversation examined the challenges surrounding plant gene-editing technologies, as well as bringing forward all of the exciting opportunities these technologies have for the agricultural industry. 

On the panel were interdisciplinary experts of the field, including Paolo De Castro, Member of the European Parliament (S&D Group); Dr. Michele MorganteDirector Agri Genomic Institute & Professor of Genetics, Udine University; Nikita Sajeev, Co-Founder & Board Member, Gene Sprout Initiative; Garlich von Essen, Secretary General, EUROSEEDS; and Bruce Zanin, Minister-Counsellor for Agriculture Affairs & Mission of the US to the EU / USDA Foreign Agricultural Service. 

So – How do we move forward with new plant breeding techniques? The speakers pondered over the impacts of plant breeding variations on the industry; the various government regulations on NPBTs; and all the surrounding innovative technologies in agriculture, while ensuring that there is no danger for consumers.

Some of the main takeaways from the discussion were to: Listen to scientists to understand the benefits of new technologies; Listen to consumers’ concerns & address any lack of information; Listen to farmers’ needs & provide them with good tools.

Listen to the full #EUTalks session below!