BIO Deutschland participates in panel discussion about ECJ ruling on genome editing methods
The Biotechnologische Studenteninitiative (btS) held a panel discussion in the Berlin as part of its ScieCon job fair. Its aim was to have representatives from the various stakeholders exchange views on the judgment of the European Court of Justice (ECJ) regarding the regulation of organisms modified by new and innovative breeding techniques such as CRISPR-Cas9. The btS believes that the decision limits the ability to perform application-oriented research in Europe on genetic engineering, thus putting European science at a disadvantage globally in terms of framework conditions. In light of this, science and industry are calling for the revision and modernisation of the current Genetic Engineering Act, which dates back to the 1990s. Participating in the panel discussion moderated by Phillip Graf (Biocom) were Silvia Bender (Friends of the Earth Germany), Viola Bronsema (Bio Deutschland), Klaus-Dieter Jany (Wissenschaftlerkreis Grüne Gentechnik) and Christof Potthof (Gen-ethical Network). The panellists discussed issues such as transparency and stakeholder participation and the precautionary and innovation principles, as well as advances and alternatives in plant breeding. ScieCon has in recent years established itself in Berlin as Germany’s largest career network fair for the life sciences, drawing more than 14 exhibitors and several hundred visitors. Students, doctoral candidates and graduates have the chance to make first contacts with company representatives and inform themselves about entry-level positions and other career opportunities. This year’s project management team was co-headed by Ingrun Wehl, who is currently pursuing a master’s in molecular life sciences at Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin while also working as a student trainee at BIO Deutschland, and Jannes Carow, who is studying biotechnology at Beuth University of Applied Sciences Berlin.