European Union Commissioner for Health & Food Safety Vytenis Andriukaitis
spoke about the potential of gene editing during his speech at CRISPRcon, in
Wageningen, The Netherlands on June 20-21, 2019. CRISPcon has, for the first
time in Europe, gathered a broad selection of diverse voices to discuss the
future of CRISPR and related gene editing technologies across a variety of
applications in agriculture, health, conservation, and more.
Andriukaitis said, "new breeding techniques can help us tackle some profound
challenges such as food security, food intolerances, or climate change." He
cited examples such as the low-gluten, non-transgenic wheat developed
through gene editing by Instituto de Agricultura Sostenible (Institute for
Sustainable Agriculture) in Spain and the University of Minnesota in the
USA; and non-browning potatoes which reduced acrylamide by 60-70% when
baked, fried or roasted at high temperatures.
According to the Commissioner, gene editing techniques can be used to
improve crop resistance, herd health, food quality, diets, and nutrition.