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‘Opportunity or death knell’? Organic movement debates embracing CRISPR plant breeding

| | April 10, 2017

There have been public debates and whether certain novel plant breeding techniques (NPBTs) such as CRISPR, could be used within the organic farming model to close the productivity gap, or whether they should be categorised as genetically modified organisms and risk assessed in that context.

The EU arm of the international organics group, IFOAM-EU, is clear in its view that NPBTs should be classified as GMOs.

“If NPBTs are not classified as GM, and, thus, have no traceability conditions attached to them, the burden of proof would fall on organic seed companies and organic operators to show they did not use cultivars derived from NPBTs, as there would be no obligations for breeding companies, per se, to disclose the applied breeding methods,” Eric Gall, deputy director and policy manager, IFOAM EU, told FeedNavigator.

Markus Arbenz, executive director of IFOAM, which represents the global organic movement, is not so cut and dry on the issue, though.

“For the moment, we are taking the same stance as IFOAM EU on the new plant breeding techniques. However, we do see the EU association as being firmly on one side of the debate. We are trying to be more neutral. The organic movement has to adapt as new knowledge is generated.”

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion, and analysis. Read full, original post: New plant breeding techniques — opportunity or death knell for organic feed and food?

For more background on the Genetic Literacy Project, read GLP on Wikipedia

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion, and analysis. Click the link above to read the full, original article.
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