Plant ETP General Assembly – Open sessions on NGTs and PRM

Following Plants for the Future’s annual General Assembly on 30th March, two open sessions on New Genomic Techniques (NGTs) and Plant Reproductive Material (PRM) respectively, were held on 30th March 2022.

The event was a great success, with 100+ online and 40+ on-site participants. The slides presented during the event are available here

Legislation for plants produced by certain new genomic techniques techniques – State of play – Irene Sacristan Sanchez, Head of Biotechnology Unit , DG SANTE, EU Commission

Citizens deliberation and verdict on using NGTs to design the crops for the future – Abhishek Nair, Social-Sciences, Marketing and Consumer Behaviour, Wageningen University

Swedish people are positive to plant breeding using genome editing techniquesJens Sundström, Plant Biology, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences

Revision of the plant and forest reproductive material legislationSpyridon Flevaris, Policy Officer in Plant Health Unit, DG SANTE, EU Commission

A keynote speech by Irene Sacristan Sanchez, Head of Biotechnology Unit of DG SANTE, providing an update on the commission’s initiative to put forward new legislation for plants produced using some NGTs (targetted mutagenesis and cisgenesis).


Results from the Horizon 2020 CropBooster-P project involving engagement with citizens on the use of NGTs in breeding the crops for the future, presented by Abhishek Nair, a researcher of Social-Sciences, Marketing and Consumer Behaviour at Wageningen University.

Two citizen juries were organised, one in the Netherlands and the other in the UK. The citizens’ juries were organised to facilitate knowledge sharing and learning and helped jurors structure their thought on NGTs with the ultimate goal of having them reach a reasoned judgment and verdict on deploying NGTs.


Results from a survey conducted in Sweden in collaboration with the Swedish University of Agricultural Science (SLU) and The Swedish Gene Technology Advisory Board (Gentekniknämnden), presented by Jens Sundström, an Associate Professor of Plant Biology at SLU.

The survey aimed to assess the Swedish population’s views on genome editing (study available here, in Swedish).


The following session looked at Plant Reproductive Material (PRM)

A keynote speech by Spyridon Flevaris, Policy Officer in the Plant Health Unit at DG SANTE, provided an overview of the Commission’s initiative to update the Seed Marketing Directive.


The keynote speech was followed by statements from representatives of Plants for the Future’s three stakeholder groups

Thor Kofoed, COPA-COGECA, sharing the farmer’s perspective

Cesar Gonzalez, Euroseeds, sharing the seed and breeding sector’s perspective

Jens Sundström, SLU, sharing his perspective as a member of academia


Statements were followed by a panel Q&A before closing remarks by Daniel Azevedo, Director in the Commodities and Trade team of Copa and Cogeca and the Chair of Plants for the Future’s Board of Directors.


Thanks to our speakers and participants for a great event and looking forward to seeing you all again!