Dr. Morven McLean, Chief Executive Officer, Dr. Vibha Ahuja, South Asia Biosafety Program Senior Advisor, and AFSI Trustee, Dr. Mark Rosegrant, participated as speakers in a webinar series organized by CGIAR so that its centers and partners, together with policy makers, academics, innovators, and other stakeholders, may take stock of current research and applications of genome editing and address related topics that will impact the enabling environment needed to translate research into practice.

About the Webinar Series

The forecasted impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic on global food security have highlighted the need for science-based deliberations on the use of advanced breeding methodologies to accelerate crop improvement within global agricultural research programs. Developments are advancing at a rapid pace and many countries are in the process of considering how to best realize the contributions that genome editing can make to improving agriculture and food systems, with particular attention to how genome edited products may or may not be regulated.

To continue these conversations, practitioners and scientists across CGIAR centers came together with global experts, industry partners, policy makers, academics, innovators, and regional agencies to organize the One CGIAR Global Webinar Series: Genome Editing in Agriculture -  Innovations for Sustainable Production and Food Systems.

Taking stock of current research and applications of genome editing within CGIAR, addressing related topics that will impact the enabling environment needed to translate research into practice, and raising the profile of the genome editing discussions among CGIAR and its partners, the webinar series was comprised of five weekly sessions between September 22-October 20, 2020 across a range of broad topics on:

  • Applications of Genome Editing for Crop and Livestock Improvement Across CGIAR: An overview of the ongoing work in various CGIAR centers, providing context for and examples of agricultural applications of the technology in plant and animal agriculture.
  • Regulation of Genome Edited Plants and Animals: Exploring considerations that may impact how or when genome edited products may trigger regulatory oversight, with examples from various countries.
  • Path to Commercialization for Genome Editing Crops: Addressing considerations of environmental and food safety for broad categories of genome edited plants (SDN1, SDN2, and SDN3). Exploring issues related to commercial release of genome edited plants, such as stewardship, trade, and regulatory and policy harmonization.
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