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Making innovation a daily practice: Genome editing should not be restrictively regulated

Interview with Dr. Ricardo Gent: How can genome editing as an effective method in plant breeding contribute to food security worldwide?

In plant breeding, new plant varieties can be created efficiently and controllably with the help of a new molecular biological method, genome editing. The prerequisite is that the legal framework in the EU provides sufficient scope for this technique. The risk potential is no higher than with conventional breeding methods, unless foreign genes are inserted. From a scientific and business point of view, all arguments speak for a broad approval of genome editing.

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From an economic point of view and in view of the high problem-solving potential, genome editing is one of the innovative cross-sectional technologies that should be particularly promoted. Genome editing opens up the possibility of modifying DNA very precisely. This makes it a useful method - not only in basic biological research, but also in various fields of application, such as medicine or agriculture. 

With the help of genome editing, it is possible to breed new plant varieties by creating mutations in the genome of plants in a targeted and controlled manner. This is much more effective and faster than conventional breeding methods and offers major advantages - in terms of the economy, but above all in view of the major challenges facing humankind.

What new varieties of crops are needed for is not necessarily obvious to many non-experts, especially since the fruit and vegetable supermarket shelves are well stocked. But appearances are deceptive. Worldwide, hunger, malnutrition and malnutrition are a major problem that continues to grow. Climate change combined with declining fertility of agricultural land are worsening the nutrition problem. Plant breeding takes on the important task of providing varieties that can be expected to produce good yields even under unfavorable site conditions.

Precision, efficiency and effectiveness, high safety and low risks - these are decisive arguments for a broad approval of genome editing, just as they are for conventional breeding methods. Europe often acts in a risk-averse manner with regard to new technologies. Where there are no new risks associated with new technologies, as is the case with genome editing, restrictive regulation should be avoided.

The entire interview with Dr. Ricardo Gent " Making innovation a daily practice: Genome editing should not be restrictively regulated " can be read here as PDF. The publication is only available in German.

 

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