New genetic engineering techniques promise that they are closer to natural plant breeding than ever and there are some who believe that gene-editing, as it is now termed, has a role to play in the future of organic agriculture. Some go so far as to argue that gene-edited plants are not GMOs (genetically modified organisms) at all. Others respond that, under the law, the European Court of Justice judgement of 2018 made it clear that gene-editing is a genetic engineering technique and its products need to be regulated in the same way as other GMOs.
The scientific argument and legal arguments are important and will, no doubt, continue. But there are other considerations as well: Are the underlying philosophies of GMOs really in harmony with those of organic? Would farmers and the public ever accept such a change? What are the implications for the USPs of organic brands?
This panel session at Europe’s leading natural and organic business event brings together experts in farming, plant breeding and organic business for a topical discussion that is going on right now in the organic sector. Come, listen and cast your ‘vote’ at the end of this lively session.
On the panel will be:
- Lawrence Woodward, Director, Beyond GM
- Huw Jones, Professor of Translational Genomics for Plant Breeding, Aberystwyth University
- Aileen Nicol, Campaign Director, Organic Trade Board