Opinion: patents and GMOs in organic production

This 12th edition, hosted at Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland, in collaboration with the Irish Seed Savers Association (ISSA), was a remarkable convergence of knowledge, experience, and expertise. Held from October 26th to 28th, it brought together over 100 participants who shared a common vision of a diverse and resilient food system. Participants included farmers, breeders, scientists, civil society organizations, and citizens.

The program was rich and diverse, featuring 15 workshops and plenary sessions covering a wide array of topics, ranging from key issues on policy and legislation, including New Breeding Techniques (NBTs), the critical aspects of Seed Marketing Reform, and Farmers’ Rights, to sessions dedicated to Culinary Breeding and Seed Quality. But the forum went beyond intellectual exchanges and workshops. Following the spirit of EC-LLD to serve as a platform to foster exchange and promote action, it provided ample opportunities for networking, collaboration, and relationship building. Attendees had the chance to connect during social dinners and explore firsthand the practical applications of dynamic seed management through field visits and seeds exchange

In their December 2023 newsletter, Agrologica (Danish organic cereal breeder) published an opinion piece on the topic of patents and GMOs in organic production.

The article is interesting with reference to the current EU regulation debates, as it goes in some details about the difference between plant variety protection and patents and how suchdifferent regulations have shaped different markets, as well as describing a range of genetic breeding techniques, including those that are grouped under the name CRISPR-CAS and, how they may or may not fit in with organic breeding.

Read the newsletter.