15-04-2021 10:30
The challenges of genome editing in plants, with a focus on crops (online event)

Photo image of bright sunny sky, yellow crops and white genome vector
Genome editing in plants © stock.adobe.com

Co-chaired by Andrius KUBILIUS (MEP) and Herbert DORFMANN (MEP & STOA Panel member)

Novel applications of genome editing, in particular of CRISPR-Cas9, have reinvigorated debate concerning these technologies. This event will seek to identify those issues and challenges arising from the application of genome engineering to crops that are in need of particular attention. It will include a presentation of the science behind genome editing and its applications, and will consider the possible benefits, as well as societal concerns, expected from these applications. Moreover, it will discuss ways current EU legislation can address these issues and challenges to better prepare for the widespread use of these novel technologies, and ensure that it is beneficial to society and their risks are addressed properly.





10.30-10.40 Welcome

Andrius Kubilius, MEP

10.40-11.00 Keynote: 'CRISPR-Cas technology: science and applications'

Virginijus Šikšnys, Chief Scientist and Head of the Department of Protein-DNA Interactions at Vilnius University, Institute of Biotechnology

11.00-12.10 Presentations on ethical, legal, societal, and policy-related aspects of genome editing in crops

'Genome editing in plants and crops - Towards a modern biotechnology policy'

Michelle Habets, Rathenau Instituut

'The status under EU law of organisms developed through novel genomic techniques'

Piet van der Meer, Ghent University and Vrije Universiteit Brussel

'A presentation of the opinion by the EGE on the Ethics of Gene Editing'

Julian Kinderlerer, European Group on Ethics in Science and New Technologies (EGE)

'Deregulation is not an option - a food sector perspective on genome edited crops'

Heike Moldenhauer, Secretary General, European Non-GMO Industry Association (ENGA)

'Foresight and stakeholder engagement on possible futures, wishes and concerns'

Bjørn Bedsted, Deputy Director of the Danish Board of Technology Foundation

'A presentation on citizens' perception of GMO'

Machiel Reinders, Wageningen University and Research

12.10-12.50 Discussion and Public Q&A

12.50-13.00 Closing Remarks

Herbert Dorfmann, MEP and STOA Panel Member