Could the rise of New Breeding Techniques like CRISPR soften opposition to crop biotechnology?

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Image Credit: BASF / We create chemistry / Flickr

“Mother Nature” is changing quickly and this requires the adoption of technology-driven solutions that will help both growers and consumers, Jim Collins, the chief operating officer of Corteva Agriscience, the Agriculture Division of DowDuPont, told EURACTIV.

Collins also referred to the discussion in Europe about the so-called “new plant breeding techniques” (NPBTs), a term that describes a number of scientific methods for the genetic engineering of plants to enhance traits like drought tolerance and pest resistance.

The European Court of Justice (ECJ) will decide most probably after summer whether these techniques should be classed as GMOs and, therefore, fall under the strict GMO approval process.

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“It’s hard for me to speculate about the exact outcome of the ECJ. At the end of the day, I do believe that we have some new plant breeding techniques that can dramatically improve the speed of things that we already do today.”

“So, we are excited about the debate moving from the science to what outcomes can we generate.”

He noted that with the NPBTs, growers will improve water utilisation or even crops – something they were not able to do before. Referring to Europe in particular, he cited wheat as an example of a crop whose productivity we have not been able to improve.

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Read full, original post: Corteva boss: ‘Mother Nature’ changes the game quickly and demands new agricultural tools

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