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Webinar “Food, Climate & Biodiversity crises – What role can novel GMOs play in future agriculture?” – Thu, 7/7, 8pm CEST

7.July 2022 20:00 - 22:00

Recording here:

Dear friends,

There could be a revolution in EU agricultural policy. The EU Commission is setting a new course for the Union’s genetic engineering law: certain novel techniques of new genetic engineering such as CRISPR could be exempted from regulation by the genetic engineering law in the future, and, thus, become more commonplace on EU fields. Proponents and opponents of a new regulation are discussing intensively, but not necessarily always with each other. We want to change that and bring them together in this webinar!

Some see new genetically modified plants as an effective means of reducing pesticides and combating world hunger, the biodiversity crisis and climate catastrophe. Their idea: use novel genetic engineering to develop more robust and higher-yielding plants faster and better than conventional breeding.

The others, on the other hand, demand: GMOs must not be allowed into the environment and onto the plates without labelling and without genetic engineering risk assessment. They see the consumers’ freedom of choice for GM-free food threatened and fear irreparable damage to the ecosystem. They say, agro-genetic engineering must continue to be clearly labelled and traceable.

What are the opportunities and risks of new novel genetic engineering? What do the war against Ukraine, climate change and the biodiversity crisis mean for this change of course in our agricultural policy? There is hardly any other topic where opinions differ as widely as on agro-genetic engineering.

At the moment, the EU Commission is holding a public consultation on this reform. Until 22 July 2022, citizens and associations can submit their positions. At the same time, organic, environmental and consumer protection associations have launched a petition for freedom of choice and regulation of genetic engineering.

On the occasion of the consultation and the petition, the Aurelia Foundation and Europe Calling have joined forces to give this controversial discussion a public space. We want to learn more about the plans from the EU Commission, hear the views of associations, scientists and, above all, you as citizens.

We will be joined by:

  • Dr. Klaus Berend, Executive Director in the Directorate for General Health and Food Safety of the EU Commission, responsible for the genetic engineering law
  • Thomas Radetzki, Chairman of the Board and initiator of the Aurelia Foundation, master beekeeper
  • Svenja Augustin, PhD student in the CEPLAS graduate school, co-initiator of the European initiative “GiveGenesAChance” & board member of Öko-Progressives Netzwerk e. V.
  • Dr. Angelika Hilbeck, Agroecologist ETH Zurich, Institute for Integrative Biology
  • Robert Hoffie, PhD student at the Leibniz Institute of Plant Genetics and Crop Plant Research, IPK Gatersleben & science communicator as @ForscherRobert
  • Dr. Friedhelm von Mering, Policy Officer, Federation of the Organic Food Industry, BÖLW
  • Moderation: Dr. Tanja Busse, journalist & author

Date: Thursday, 7 July 2022, 20-22 hrs CEST

The webinar will be simultaneously translated into German and English.

Join us and invite others!

With European greetings,

Maximilian Fries, Executive Director of Europe Calling e.V.

Bernd Rodekohr, Genetic Engineering Officer of the Aurelia Foundation


7.July 2022
20:00 - 22:00