Biotech Updates

International Conference Tackles Commercialization and Trade of Gene-edited Products

April 26, 2023

Advancements and investments in science are vital in navigating possible solutions to the challenges of food security and climate change. “Investing in science is investing in our future,” says Dr. Misha Schubert, Chief Executive Officer of Science & Technology Australia during the opening of the International Conference on Gene Editing: Enabling Future Commercialization and Trade organized by Murdoch University, ISAAA Inc., and Malaysian Biotechnology Information Centre (MABIC).

With over 100 participants from Australia and other countries, the event is being held on April 26-27, 2023, at the Australian Academy of Science's Shine Dome in Canberra. The conference aims to assist both small and large-scale exporters in understanding the potential of gene editing for crop improvement, and the issues related to trade in gene-edited produce.

Aside from discussions about the science and applications of gene editing in crops, experts also tackled the various challenges and possible pathways towards harmonization and product-based policy regimes. Dr. Schubert stressed that feeding the world is not a scientific problem but a regulatory problem. Thus, discussions to build the confidence of the public and policymakers on gene editing are timely and necessary.

The conference is part of the Package Assisting Small Exporters (PASE) program of the Australian Government's Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment (DAWE) project on Building Capacity for Small Exporters to Exploit New Breeding Technologies. The project is implemented by Murdoch University and partners to contribute towards improving trade outcomes for exporters interested in commercializing new breeding technologies (NBTs) such as genome editing.

ISAAA Inc.'s Dr. Rhodora Romero-Aldemita, Panfilo De Guzman, and Kristine Grace Tome served as moderators of the sessions.

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