Genome Editing

The CRISPR /CASv9 Method developed by Professor Emmanuelle Charpentier and Professor Jennifer Doudna was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 2020. It offers completely new potential in plant cultivation and animal rearing and can therefore contribute to the food supply of the world population. For example, this method can be used to strengthen the immune system of plants and animals. The method is simple, efficient and flexible to use, but its approval is regulated very differently internationally.

During our World Food Convention we want to dive into the important topic of Genome Editing and its new potential in plant cultivation and animal rearing. We would like to discuss how the CRISPR /CASv9 Method can contribute to the food supply of the world population and what regulatory requirements are in place worldwide.

Interview and Videostatements

Head of Unit at the Directorate-General for Health and Food Safety, European Commission

Irene Sacristán Sánchez is head of unit for Biotechnology in the Directorate General Health and Food Safety of the European Commission. She joined the Commission in 2003, spending several years working on the development and negotiation of pharmaceutical legislation. Most recently, Irene was head of the policy development and legislative unit in the European Anti-Fraud Office. Before joining the Commission, she worked as a lawyer in Madrid.

Svenja Augustin is a graduate student at the Cluster of Excellence on Plant Sciences (CEPLAS) in Düsseldorf (Germany). This fall, she will start her doctoral studies focussing on plant developmental biology. During her Bachelors’s studies at the Carl von Ossietzky University (Oldenburg, Germany), she also got interested in science communication and became a board member of the Ecoprogressive Network (EcoProg).

David Spencer is a plant biotechnologist from Aachen, Germany. In his PhD project, he studies fungal plant diseases on important crops such as soybean and wheat. He is also a board member of the Eco-Progressive Network, Science Slammer and host of the plant science podcast “Krautnah“.

She has developed her professional career around the food system, in its different approaches: areas of research and development of new products, quality control, marketing and consumption, market research, international trade and education. Agronomic Engineer (University of Lleida-Spain), European Doctor (Institut National Polytechnique de Lorraine, Nancy-France), MBA in International Agrifood Economics and Management (ESSEC). She obtained the title of piano teacher (Conservatorio Superior de Música del Liceo -Barcelona). Since 2002 she has directed the Foundation Triptolemos. Secretary of the UNESCO Chair and the board of management Campus Network Excellence (17 Campus). Associate Professor at the Polytechnic University of Catalonia.

Jon Falk studied biology in Kiel (Germany) and Manchester (UK) followed by a PhD in botany at the University of Hamburg and his habilitation in botany at the University in Kiel in 2004. During his scientific carrier he worked at the Carlsberg Research Centre in Copenhagen, the University of Cologne and Kiel. From 2004 to 2008 his focus was barley breeding and ingredients at the Carlsberg Research Centre in Copenhagen (DK). Jon Falk became Managing Director of SAATEN-UNION BIOTEC GmbH in 2014. Key areas of expertise are plant breeding, plant biotechnology, analytics, and R&D management.

Dr. Michael Kock works at the interface between innovation, technology acceptance, and intellectual property for 25 years. With degrees in chemistry and molecular biology, his heart beats for enabling food security innovations. After 20 years in leadership positions in multinational companies, Michael Kock now serves as Senior Vice President, Innovation Catalyst for Inari Agriculture Inc. designing holistic intellectual property, freedom-to-operate, and value capture strategies. As a qualified European and Swiss Patent Attorney, Michael Kock regularly lectures and has published multiple papers on plant related intellectual property in peer reviewed law journals.


Pia Voelker works as an editor for topics related to genetic engineering in agriculture at the organization “Gen-ethisches Netzwerk” in Berlin.


A “navigator” for genetic engineering

Gene snipping was possible even before the Crispr/Cas9 gene scissors. But it made everything easier By Sascha Karberg This Nobel Prize came as no surprise to anyone who knows anything about the subject. For years, the scientific community worldwide has

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“Madness with Crispr”

A moment in the lab and its consequences Jennifer Doudna met Emmanuelle Charpentier at a conference in Puerto Rico in 2011. The two researchers’ first meeting evolved into a collaboration in their shared specialty that has earned them both a

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Nobel Prize followed by own institute

Emmanuelle Charpentier, discoverer of gene scissors, will conduct research in her own building starting in 2024 Emmanuelle Charpentier, winner of the 2020 Nobel Prize in Chemistry, is expected to move with her “Max Planck Research Unit for the Science of

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Arable plants from the laboratory

The EU Commission wants to make it easier to approve new techniques such as the Crispr/cas gene scissors. Environmentalists are appalled Berlin – The new techniques are already in use in the USA, Canada, Brazil, Argentina and Australia, and now

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