The CHIC project aims to develop sets of new chicory varieties to produce, on one hand, more and healthier inulin food fiber and, on the other hand, identify and produce medicinal terpenes in sufficient amounts. These varieties are developed via genome editing. Safety, socio-economic and environmental impact as well as stakeholders’ needs and concerns when implementing such new varieties are also investigated in this project.

The CHIC project is looking as well into the regulation and legislation of new plant breeding techniques comparing approaches across the world which could inspire solutions for Europe. Right now, it is dealing with two possible futures. Indeed products of CHIC projects could be regulated as gene edited only or GMO products.

EPSO is partner in the CHIC project focusing on stakeholder engagement and supporting communication.

Read more about CHIC progress in its third newsletter organised around the following focuses :

  1. Development of four conceptually different New Plant Breeding techniques (NPBTs)
  2. Implementation of NPBTs for dietary inulin
  3. Implementation of NPBT in chicory for bioactive terpenes
  4. Technical and risk and regulatory assessments of NPBTs
  5. Socio-economic and environmental impacts on the whole vale chain
  6. Stakeholder engagement
  7. Communication and dissemination
  8. Commercial exploitation of chicory as a multipurpose crop

CHIC is a research and innovation project supported through the EU Horizon 2020 funding programme with a budget of €7.3 million

Contacts: Macarena Sanz, ID Consortium, ES – Dirk Bosch, Wageningen University, NL (Coordinator)

CGIAR, the world’s largest public research network on food systems, is changing identity to One CGIAR with a sharpened focus to 2030, in line with the UN Sustainable Development Goals. It will integrate management, policies, and services; finding new, more impactful ways of doing research; sharing and investing more, pooled funding; and unifying its governance, including creation of the One CGIAR Common Board.

CGIAR’s Nominations Committee invites applications from qualified individuals to serve as members of the One CGIAR Common Board (anticipated appointment 1 September 2020). Board members will be central to the transformation of CGIAR and its mission to deliver on global goals. The role presents opportunities to work with leaders across the CGIAR System, forging new linkages and partnerships in pursuit of an innovative, vital agenda.

For more details, please visit: https://www.sri-executive.com/offer/?id=8687

Source : CGIAR, 17.04.2020

RESPONSE DP is offering 7 early-stage researcher’s positions for 36 months (100%) at the interface of science and policy, as well as science and innovation at one of the three world-leading academic host organization – ETH Zurich, University of Zurich or University of Basel.

RESPONSE DP will train ESRs to reflect on their role as scientists in society, contributing with evidence to policymaking and to build capacities to address global challenges in the areas of sustainable food systems, sustainable energy systems and sustainable land use decisions.

For more information about RESPONSE, open positions and further steps (i.e. submit your application), have a look at: https://www.plantsciences.uzh.ch/en/research/fellowships/response.html

The majority of Norwegian consumers are positive about sustainable and societally beneficial use of gene editing in Norwegian agriculture and aquaculture – this is the main conclusion from the population survey performed and published by the Norwegian Biotechnology Advisory Board early April  2020. However, many consumers are concerned about risk, although they have fairly high confidence that gene edited products approved by the Norwegian authorities are safe for health and the environment. Consumers also want information about product traits that makes it easier for them to choose. The results also show that there is a need for knowledge building about genetic technology and food in the general population.

EPSO encourages scientists and ministries to work together to perform similar studies in more countries across Europe to engage with consumers, compare the attitudes towards gene editing and its use to address societal challenges. Sigrid Bratlie, one of the authors, is happy to share the methodology and preparatory work to help you.

Read the full report at www.bioteknologiradet.no/filarkiv/2020/04/Report-consumer-attitudes-to-gene-editing-agri-and-aqua-FINAL.pdf .

Contacts:

  • Sigrid Bratlie, Special Advisor on gene technology, The Norwegian Agricultural Cooperatives, [email protected]
  • Odd Arne Rognli, EPSO Board
  • Karin Metzlaff, EPSO

This science advice will inform the development of the ‘Farm to Fork’ strategy to be published this year (originally in spring) and all actions related to sustainable food systems under the ‘European Green Deal’ and beyond.

The group ‘urges the European Commission to take the lead and drive change towards a sustainable food system in the EU and beyond. We specifically recommend that environmental, social and economic sustainability are made the central objectives of all policies relevant to the food system. Food must be viewed more as a common than a consumer good, as has been the tendency in the past. In more detail, we call on the European Commission to:

  • Ensure a fully integrated approach to bring about a sustainable food system by adopting an active step-wise policy transition with responsive, learning-focused policy approaches and governance structures;
  • Address power and information asymmetries in the food system by increasing the policy focus on food manufacturers and retailers, supporting a food environment that helps citizens to make healthy and sustainable food choices, and strengthening the more vulnerable actors in the food system;
  • Use a well-balanced policy mix in an iterative, responsive and adaptive manner, considering binding policy measures as the main drivers.’

For plant scientists this is relevant as plant research and innovation can contribute as intrinsic part of crop improvement, crop management and crop processing towards sustainable food systems.

Contact for plant science contributions: Karin Metzlaff (EPSO Executive Director), Alan Schulman (EPSO President), Ulrich Schurr (EPSO Vice-President)

Source:

Towards a sustainable food system – EC website: