The meeting was organized by ALLEA, the European Federation of Academies of Sciences and Humanities, and the Royal Flemish Academy of Belgium for Science and the Arts (KVAB) and took place at the Academy Palace in Brussels 7 and 8 November 2019.
The Symposium is an initiative to give response to the ruling by The Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) of July 25 2018 that organisms (plants included) obtained by genome editing technologies should be subjected to the strict rules of the EU GMO directives. A large number of scientist have expressed in different media their concerns and criticisms and the idea emerged that an amendment of the current legislation was badly needed.
The ALLEA-KVAB Symposium presented an overview of the technology, evidence with respect to the safety of edited crops and their potential for agricultural applications. Other aspects included the societal, regulatory, intellectual property aspects of the editing technology and its use in plant crops and the consequences of the ruling of the CJEU.
The aim therefore was to initiate a discussion of relevant policy options for an amendment of the present EU regulations, and provide scientific evidence and science-based policy considerations for it. After the meeting ALLEA-KVAB will produce a document with suggestions and recommendations based in the discussions and opinions emanating from the symposium to be submitted for consideration to the EC.
The program of the Symposium can be found here