Genome editing and the Farm to Fork strategy

Tuesday 26 January 2021 10:30 12:00
429 Participants

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Members of the European Parliament Jessica Polfjärd (SE-EPP) and Erik Bergkvist (SE-S&D)

Hosted by Members of the European Parliament Jessica Polfjärd (SE-EPP) and Erik Bergkvist (SE-S&D), this webinar will discuss the potential of genome editing to contribute to the F2F objectives, the current regulatory landscape for GMOs, and future governance options.

Welcome to join us for an in-depth discussion on what steps the EU can take to accelerate the transition towards a sustainable and innovative food system. 

Please register here on the event page or by sending an email to jessica.polfjard@europarl.europa.eu. The discussion will be held on Zoom.

Programme 

10.30 Opening statements by MEP Polfjärd and MEP Bergkvist

10.40 Potential contribution of genome editing to the F2F strategy objectives

                Prof. Wendy Harwood, John Innes Centre, United Kindom

10.50 What are GMOs and why are they regulated?

                Piet van der Meer, Ghent University/Free University Brussels, Belgium

11.00 Future governance options

                Tomasz Zimny, Institute of Law Studies, Polish Academy of Sciences, Poland

11.10 Q&A with invited panel members 

11.50 Closing statements from MEP Polfjärd and MEP Bergkvist

The Farm to Fork (F2F) strategy is at the heart of the European Green Deal and aims to contribute to a more sustainable food system. While the F2F strategy highlights the importance of innovative solutions across the entire food value chain, including plant breeding and crop production, there are concerns that the continued uncertainty regarding the regulatory status of genome edited organisms will present obstacles to reaching the aims of the F2F strategy.

The European Commission has not yet provided an interpretative opinion of which organisms developed through novel genomic techniques fall under the EU definition of GMO. Following the 2018 ruling by the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) that products of newer forms of mutagenesis are GMOs that are not exempted like those developed with conventional mutagenesis, the debate in Europe over which organisms developed through genome editing fall under the GMO definition is still ongoing. In 2019, the Council of the European Union therefore asked the Commission to submit a study regarding the status of novel genomic techniques under Union Law. 

A new and groundbreaking study by a leading team of legal and scientific experts has analysed the CJEU ruling and the EU GMO definition and concluded that not every use of genome editing necessarily results in a GMO. This suggests that further guidance is still needed. The study requested by the Council provides a good opportunity for such clarification. In this context, you are invited to take part of these new findings and join the conversation on what steps the EU can take to accelerate the transition towards a sustainable and innovative European food system.

Welcome to join the discussion by register here on the event page or by sending an email to jessica.polfjard@europarl.europa.eu.

The hosts would like to acknowledge the support from Dr. Dennis Eriksson in planning and organising this event.