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New techniques for crop improvement

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In October 2014, BBSRC published a position statement on new and emerging techniques for crop improvement (see related links).

These novel techniques, which can introduce precise genetic changes into plants, are currently being used in research labs as a tool to help understand the function of genes. Commercial applications are likely to follow: new and improved crop varieties produced with these methods could be available world-wide over the coming years.

The position statement was produced following a workshop involving experts from a variety of backgrounds, including plant scientists, regulators and social scientists. An expert panel was then convened to produce the statement.

This position statement is written from a scientific perspective. The next step for BBSRC is to engage with stakeholders to listen to their views around its position statement and new crop breeding technologies in general.

Over the coming months BBSRC will be considering ways to engage with the public, civil society, NGOs and businesses to fully understand areas of agreement and concern and BBSRC’s role in moving discussions forward.

As part of this process BBSRC’s Chief Executive Professor Jackie Hunter and Executive Director Corporate Policy and Strategy Dr Paul Burrows met with sponsors of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Science and Technology in Agriculture and members of the Supply Chain Initiative on Modified Agricultural Crops (SCIMAC) on Friday 7 August 2015.

Position statement on new crop breeding tools

Notes from stakeholder engagement

August 2015 meeting notes (PDF 27KB)

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