It won’t be a candy bar like the one in the picture, but it will be the first CRISPR snack ever eaten in Italy and among the first in the world. A taste of rice edited in Milan, according to rumors. The initiative, organized by The Luca Coscioni Association for freedom of scientific research, will take place on September 18 at 10 am, in front of the Italian Parliament. The first CRISPR meal ever served was a tête-à-tête between a scientist and a journalist in Sweden in September 2016. A month later Calyxt hosted a dinner made with food edited with a different biotech tool in a famous restaurant in Manhattan. The Italian snack is different, however, because of its public nature and political aim. It’s a call to politicians, journalists and scientists to engage in the regulatory debate about genome editing after the EU Court of Justice ruled that edited plants are GMOs. GM field trials are banned in Italy and CRISPR represents a much-needed second chance for geneticists to get out of the impasse.
A shortlist of articles capturing ag scientists’ dismay at the recent EU verdict affecting the future of CRISPR crops:
Science Media Centre, Expert reaction to Court of Justice of the European Union ruling that GMO rules should cover plant genome editing techniques
Matt Ridley, EU’s anti-GMO crusade is unscientific and harmful
Mark Lynas, Scientific community defeated by green groups in European court ruling on gene edited crops
Carl Zimmer, What is a genetically modified crop? A European ruling sows confusion
The Observer view on Europe’s ban on gene-editing crops
Wired, European ruling could slow Africa’s push for CRISPR crops