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Crop Biotech Update

Andriukaitis: Europe Should Take Lead in Science-Based Plant Innovation

December 11, 2019
Vytenis Andriukaitis: "Plant breeding is essential to meet new challenges and cater for changing needs." Photo Source: Sarantis Michalopoulos

Vytenis Andriukaitis, former Health Commissioner for the European Union says that Europe needs innovation to lead in improving plant varieties to make them more resistant to diseases, as well as other abiotic and biotic stresses. This includes making them more tolerant to drought or flooding, nutritionally enhanced and completely safe.

Written in an op-ed, Andriukaitis says that plant breeding is essential to meet new challenges and cater to changing needs. He adds that the EU needs plant breeding that is internationally competitive. This includes rapidly evolving techniques such as gene editing as they have great potential for a broad range of applications in the agri-food sector.

The former Health Commissioner wrote that scientific facts speak for themselves, adding that "Europe simply cannot afford to give up and stay on the side of the road while our main competitors are making progress!"

Read more details in the op-ed published exclusively in EURACTIV.com

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