Modern agricultural biotechnology calling

Modern agricultural biotechnology calling

12 April 2018, 14.00 to 17.30

ROOM A3G2, European Parliament, Brussels

Part of the 5th Meeting of the World Congress on Freedom of Scientific Research

11-13 April 2018, European Parliament, Brussels

The session is supported by EuropaBio and moderated by John Brennan, EuropaBio secretary-general


14.00 Welcome, Key Note Speech by Commissioner Andriukaitis

Challenges in evaluating risks in food

  • Vytenis Andriukaitis, Commissioner for Health & Food Safety


14.30 State of play of genome editing and modern agri-biotech

What is genome editing, and why use it in agriculture? What do the scientific institutions say about risks and opportunities, and which steps towards legal certainty?

Conversation between

  • Prof. Janusz Bujnicki, Member of the European Commission’s Scientific Advice Mechanism
  • Prof. Joachim Schiemann on behalf of the European Academies of Science Advisory Council (EASAC)


15.00 The CRISPR era

Genome editing techniques like CRISPR are opening up new possibilities in many fields including plant breeding. When will and should the innovation reach farmers and consumers?

Panel debate

  • Rene Custers, VIB – Flemish Institute of Biotechnology
  • Paul Temple UK Farmer
  • Nora Alonso,  CEO of Iden Biotechnology
  • Arnaud Schwartz, France Nature environment, Member of the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC)

Debate with the audience


16.15 Innovation, precaution and democracy: A right to science? (ends 17.30)

Scientific evidence is one factor in EU decision making, but there are ‘other legitimate factors’. Should a democracy stop unpopular innovation?


  • Andrea Boggio, Professor Bryant University
  • Dirk Hudig, Secretary General, European Risk Forum
  • David Zaruk, The risk monger
  • José Miguel Mulet, Autor and Professor of Biotechnology, Universidad Politécnica de Valencia
  • Roberto Defez, National Research Council, Italy

Debate with the audience

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