EU Commissioner Vytenis Andriukaitis on the Potential of Gene Editing

July 10, 2019

European Union Commissioner for Health & Food Safety Vytenis Andriukaitis spoke about the potential of gene editing during his speech at CRISPRcon, in Wageningen, The Netherlands on June 20-21, 2019. CRISPcon has, for the first time in Europe, gathered a broad selection of diverse voices to discuss the future of CRISPR and related gene editing technologies across a variety of applications in agriculture, health, conservation, and more.

Andriukaitis said, "new breeding techniques can help us tackle some profound challenges such as food security, food intolerances, or climate change." He cited examples such as the low-gluten, non-transgenic wheat developed through gene editing by Instituto de Agricultura Sostenible (Institute for Sustainable Agriculture) in Spain and the University of Minnesota in the USA; and non-browning potatoes which reduced acrylamide by 60-70% when baked, fried or roasted at high temperatures.

According to the Commissioner, gene editing techniques can be used to improve crop resistance, herd health, food quality, diets, and nutrition.

For more details, read the news article in the European Seed Association website. The Commissioner's full speech is available here.