The Netherlands Commission on Genetic Modification (COGEM) organizes an international symposium on gene editing in plants on Thursday 10th of October in the Assembly Hall of the Senate (Eerste Kamer) of the Dutch Parliament in The Hague.
The use of gene editing in plant breeding is a point of contention in Europe. In the EU there has been discussion for years about whether plants produced using new breeding techniques, like gene editing, fall under the GMO regulations or should be exempted. In 2018, the European Court of Justice ruled that crops produced by gene editing are genetically modified organisms and are not covered by the exemption in the EU Directive for plants produced via mutagenesis. Since then legal solutions have been sought and advocated, such as changes to the regulation or a reinterpretation of the legal definition of a GMO.
The symposium aims to provide an overview of the possibilities and limitations gene editing offers for plant breeding and crop improvement and of global perspectives on gene editing of plants and the worldwide differences in regulation and governance. Possible regulatory alternatives will be discussed.