France’s National Institute for Agricultural Research may pursue gene-editing research

Philippe Mauguin’s appointment in July as president and chief executive of France’s National Institute for Agricultural Research (INRA) sparked widespread protest among researchers….

In his first interview with an English-language publication since taking the helm of INRA, Mauguin tells Nature how he has responded to scientists’ concerns and outlines his strategy for the future of the agency….

What are your priorities for INRA — and how do you think the institute should change?

…[W]e need to focus on global food security, combating climate change, fighting disease, ensuring a balanced use of bioresources and developing agro-ecology (efforts to make agricultural production ecologically sustainable).

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. . . .

INRA stopped research on genetically modified (GM) organisms in 2013. Do you have any plans to revive this?

…I would like researchers to be able to work freely on plant and animal biotechnologies, and could not imagine a large public research institute specialized in food systems being absent from this area forever, especially given the questions raised by these techniques in society. …I expect when the European Union has adopted new regulations, we will seek authorization for greenhouse or field experiments partly based on genome editing.

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion and analysis. Read full, original post: Controversial head of French agricultural agency speaks out

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