It’s in our genes

Seizing the opportunities of genetic engineering in agriculture

The global food supply presents us with many challenges. With a growing population, and the needs and standards of a constantly richer society increasing the demands towards farmers, we need to act smart. Bigger isn’t strictly better — just because we are set to increase our population by 50% in a short amount of time (by historical comparison) does not mean we need to double the size of our farms, double the personnel, or double the costs for farmers, consumers, and the environment. In fact, novel technology allows doing more with less.

This policy note seeks to explain the basics of 2021 standards of modern genetic technology in a comprehensive way, and lays out which smart policy changes can help achieve a just and reasoned way to work with the technology of the future. It is our mission to amplify the voices of scientists and policy-experts, and convince law-makers that Europe too can be at the forefront of this scientific revolution. European history shows that we thrive on innovation, and the belief that technology makes us healthier and more prosperous, for the benefit of all citizens. It is, so to say, part of our DNA.

Policy Recommendations:

  • Reform the 2001 EU Directive on GMOs
  • Consider gene-edited seed without the introduction of foreign genes as conventionally bred seeds
  • Consider gene-edited seed that has received foreign genes as a transgenic GMO
  • The above mentioned changes would bring the EU in line with the Cartagena Protocol
  • Fast-track the GMO approval process, favouring innovation

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