Biotechnology

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Agrifood 17-03-2020

What is genetic engineering? A plea for a rational definition of what it is and what it isn’t

The public debate on genetic engineering in agriculture is largely characterised by misinformation, myths and a confused understanding of nature, writes plant breeding and gene editing expert, Professor Hans-Jörg Jacobsen (PhD).
Agrifood 24-02-2020

Embracing technology to feed a growing world

It is time for America and Europe to work together to solve the next great challenge facing us - to produce enough food, with fewer inputs, to feed a growing world population - which means embracing innovation and technology in a safe, sustainable agriculture, writes Sonny Perdue.
Agrifood 21-02-2020

EFSA will keep British experts despite Brexit [Part II]

The European Food Safety Authority will keep UK experts in its ranks despite Brexit, because science does not recognise borders "and we want to have the best people", the EU food watchdog chief told EURACTIV.com in an exclusive interview.
Agrifood 20-02-2020

EFSA chief: Assessing fast-changing agrifood innovation is key challenge [Part I]

Being equipped with the right methods to assess industry’s rapidly changing innovation will be a key challenge for the European Food Safety Agency, (EFSA), Bernhard Url, the EU food watchdog's chief, told EURACTIV.com in a wide-ranging interview.
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Agrifood 12-02-2020

Fighting malnutrition: Golden Rice and the EU’s GMO conundrum

In the last two decades, the cultivation of genetically biofortified crops, such as Golden Rice, to help solve the global humanitarian crisis of “malnutrition” remains elusive. Let’s consider the facts.
Agrifood 10-02-2020

Italian minister: Unlike gene editing, GMOs belong to the past

Italy's agricultural minister Teresa Bellanova expressed an interest in developing sustainable biotechnology, in the light of a milestone agreement on next-gen biotech between farmers organisation Coldiretti and the Italian Society of Agricultural Genetics (SIGA).
Agrifood 05-02-2020

‘New GMOs’: Kyriakides gets off on wrong foot with biased consultation

The new EU Health Commissioner Stella Kyriakides recently told EURACTIV.com that her “priority is to gather more information” on gene editing. To this end, she said, "we will be preparing a study on new genomic techniques, foreseen for spring 2021”. Clearly, the design and set-up of such a study will be crucial to its outcome, writes Nina Holland.
Agrifood 03-02-2020

Renew Europe vows to break ‘taboos’ in EU agriculture

The centrist Renew Europe group in the European Parliament aims to “break taboos” in the agricultural sector, according to one of its Czech deputies, Martin Hlaváček.
Agrifood 30-01-2020

EU health chief wants more information on gene editing

The new EU Health Commissioner Stella Kyriakides wants more information about the controversial issue of gene editing and for now, she seems less enthusiastic than her predecessor Vytenis Andriukaitis.
Agrifood 28-01-2020

French MEP calls for ‘realism’ in Farm to Fork strategy

The plant protection part of the upcoming Farm to Fork strategy should take a realistic and science-based approach that allows farmers to “explore all possible solutions”, French conservative MEP Anne Sander told EURACTIV.
Agrifood 27-01-2020

Innovation, CAP and Green Deal: A tough equation?

The new Green Deal will have a direct impact on the ongoing negotiations about the post-2020 Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) as EU farmers will be asked to re-adjust the way they work to the new green objectives.
Agrifood 27-01-2020

US agriculture chief urges EU to listen to science, not fear-mongering NGOs

When it comes to food, EU policymakers should make science-based decisions if they want to help European their farmers tackle the “legitimate concerns” over sustainability, Sonny Perdue, the US State Secretary of Agriculture, said on Monday (27 January).
Agrifood 20-12-2019

Industry and farmers expect ‘science-based’ solutions to deliver New Green Deal 

The agri-food industry and EU farmers are calling for clarity and science-based solutions to meet their objectives as part of the EU’s recently announced European Green Deal. The new plans, combined with the ‘Farm to Fork’ strategy and a reformed...
Agrifood 11-12-2019

Bayer scientist: ‘Regulation and risk assessment must evolve with technology’

Since new breeding technologies such as gene editing are still new and evolving, risk assessments and regulations also need to be evolving, says a molecular biologist for Bayer Life Science company. Dr Larry Gilberston, Ph.D., spoke to EURACTIV about the...
Agrifood 10-12-2019

Corteva signs first major gene editing deal with European company

Despite the ongoing legal uncertainty over the future of new plant breeding innovation in Europe, US agricultural company Corteva Agriscience has signed the first major deal on genome editing tools with French seed producer Vilmorin & Cie.
Agrifood 04-12-2019

Andriukaitis: Europe should take lead in science-based plant innovation

The EU is leading the science-based fight against climate change and it will also lead on science-based plant innovation, writes former EU Health Commissioner Vytenis Andriukaitis.
Agrifood 28-11-2019

UK faced with EU-US biotechnology dilemma post-Brexit

The question of whether the UK will open its doors to GMOs after Brexit has become more pertinent after EU Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier told MEPs on Tuesday (26 November) that in order to secure a trade agreement, the UK would have to agree to maintain a ‘level playing field’ and not undercut EU regulation.
Agrifood 22-11-2019

MEPs slam gene-editing court ruling as damaging for SMEs

It is much easier for larger companies to implement new GM legislation, but it's the smaller ones that are most affected by the recent gene-editing ruling, the chair of the agriculture committee (AGRI) MEP, Norbert Lins, told EURACTIV.com at the sidelines of a recent plant breeding conference.
Agrifood 05-11-2019

2,500 scientists urge EU to reform environmentally ‘damaging’ CAP

More than 2,500 scientists across the EU have joined forces and reached out to the EU parliament in a letter urging them to “to act on the science, and undertake a far-reaching reform of the EU’s Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) without delay.”
Agrifood 18-10-2019

The EU dilemma with the GMO industry and independent risk research

The EU should give higher priority to the protection of health and the environment, but when it comes to genetically engineered plants, the current standards of risk assessment are not sufficient to fulfil the legal requirements, writes Christoph Then, executive director at Testbiotech.
Agrifood 16-10-2019

Biotechnology: Europe’s next ‘hot potato’

The discussion over the future of biotechnology in Europe heated up after the EU Court ruled in July last year that gene editing should, in principle, fall under the GMO Directive. We focus on the future of biotechnology in Europe, the regulatory framework of the so-called new plant-breeding techniques, as well as GMOs.
Agrifood 16-10-2019

Andriukaitis: 100-year old production models cannot achieve food sustainability

According to the UN, the amount of food produced globally needs to double to feed a rising world population. Policymakers are poring over ways to ensure the sustainability of food systems while emerging new technologies, promising to tackle climate change, still face resistance.
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Agrifood 10-10-2019

Senselessly shunning science: the EU Parliament’s GMO dilemma

Europe seems increasingly ready to face the challenges of the 21st century and to lead the way to a ‘greener’ and more sustainable future. But what role can the EU Parliament play in the face of recent unsubstantiated “objections” against GMOs?
Agrifood 30-07-2019

Organic farmers oppose separate framework for new plant breeding techniques

Any attempt to exclude the so-called new plant breeding techniques from the GMO legislation would deal a severe blow to consumers, farmers and processors, according to the EU organic farmers’ movement (IFOAM).

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